Porsche warns of fall in profitability but hikes dividend on strong 2023 results

The Porsche Mission X on display at the IAA Mobility 2023 show in Munich, Germany.
Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Porsche on Tuesday warned that profitability will decline this year as it launches new models amid tough economic conditions, but hiked its dividend on the back of a rise in 2023 operating profit.

The German luxury automaker said it expects an operating return on sales of between 15% and 17% in 2024, down from the 18% margin notched in 2023 and 2022. In the long term, the group targets an operating return on sales of more than 20%.

Explaining the more cautious profitability outlook, the company cited “the comprehensive renewal of its product range in 2024, the global framework conditions, higher depreciations on capitalized development costs and the continued investments in the brand and the Porsche ecosystem.”

The company’s shares were around 4.8% higher by early afternoon, having reversed opening losses of more than 2%.

Porsche is launching four new car ranges in 2024 in the form of the Panamera, Macan, Taycan and 911 model lines.

“2024 is going to be a year of product launches for Porsche – more so than any year in our history,” Chairman Oliver Blume said in a statement.

“We will be introducing a variety of exhilarating sports cars to the road, they will delight our customers around the world. This will put the wind at our back for years to come.”

Porsche’s sales revenue rose 7.7% in 2023 to 40.53 billion euros ($44.29 billion), the company announced, while operating profit jumped 7.6% to 7.28 billion euros.

As a result, the company proposed a dividend of 2.30 euros per ordinary share, more than double the 1 euro per share offered in 2022.

“Porsche proved in 2023 that we are resilient, highly profitable and financially robust even in volatile times. And we benefit from an even better-balanced sales structure than in the past,” Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said in a statement.

“On this basis, we’re laying the groundwork in 2024 for a flying start in 2025. Our focus remains on the sustainable success of the company. Our customers and employees, the company and our shareholders all benefit.”

Sales are expected to come in between 40 billion and 42 billion euros in full-year 2024.

Meschke told CNBC on Tuesday that Porsche still expects a “very challenging situation” in China, but that the company is heavily investing in its customer base, despite the country’s economic headwinds.

“We expect significant growth when it comes to high net worth individuals in China, and therefore it’s necessary to invest not only in the product itself but also in the entire ecosystem, and in our brand itself, and we will do it also in 2024 and 2025,” he told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach at the carmaker’s facility in Leipzig, Germany.

“With the new four models in place, we will have the full model range in place in 2025, we expect a strong recovery for Porsche in China.”

Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, warned last week that sales growth was set to slow due to a weaker economic conditions, growing competition and rising costs.

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