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Porsche outlook improves as sales of Carrera climb

PORSCHE, the loss-making German sports car maker, is forecasting a 5 per cent rise in sales this year to more than DM2bn ( pounds 795m), as incoming orders and deliveries of its new 911 Carrera models run ahead of expectations.

Porsche said first-half group sales were 'well over' its original forecast of DM920m. However, losses in the six months to 31 January were DM115m and were still likely to be between DM140m and DM150m for 1993/4, compared with DM239m in the previous year.

News of the improving sales picture came with a DM201m issue of a mixture of preferred and ordinary shares.

The company's founding families, Porsche and Piech, who own all of Porsche's ordinary shares, accounting for half of the car maker's share capital, will be subscribing for their new entitlements.

Porsche said it still hoped to be in the black in 1994/5 after extensive cost-cutting. According to Wendelin Wiedeking, chief executive, it will not be until 1996/7 when acceptable profits will be made again. By then it should have launched its low-priced, two- seater Boxster sports car.

Porsche has cut its production workforce by 40 per cent to counter the problem of uncompetitiveness in its US export market. It expects to reduce the number employed in the group by 20 per cent to 6,800 by the end of July.

At its peak in 1986, Porsche sold almost 50,000 cars, half of them in the US. It expects sales of more than 16,000 in the current year.