By COLLEEN BARRY , AP Business Writer
MILAN (AP) — Luxury Italian sports carmaker Ferrari on Thursday announced a record first quarter as sales of its V12 models boosted profits 60 percent.
Ferrari, based in the northern Italian city of Maranello, reported net profits of 124 million euros ($136 million) in the first quarter, up from 78 million euros a year earlier.
Ferrari closed up 5.6 percent at 73.65 euros in Milan trading.
CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed 2017 targets of 950 million euros in adjusted earnings before tax and interest for the year, and said he would wait for the second or third quarter to see if conditions merit raising it to the 1 billion euro mark.
He also said Ferrari's growth plans would concentrate on expanding car volumes in new high-performance luxury segments, explaining that he had assuaged concerns that increasing volumes would hurt the brand's exclusivity.
After previously capping sales at 7,000, Ferrari is on target to sell 8,400 cars this year and Marchionne has previously indicated he had his sights set on 10,000. He told analysts Thursday he was looking at how to go even higher and would update the markets next year.
When Ferrari launched its public offering 18 months ago, Marchionne said he wanted to transform the car company into a luxury goods firm beyond cars. The CEO said while they were still looking at growth prospects beyond automobiles, significant growth could come from its core business.
His ambitions are being helped by Ferrari's Formula 1 racing team, which has returned to the winners' circle after a series of disappointing seasons.
During the first quarter, revenues were up 22 percent to 821 million euros, with shipments growing by 6 percent to 2,003 units. Deliveries of 12-cylinder V12 models rose by half.
Sales in Europe grew by 9 percent, powered by double-digit sales in Germany, France, Italy and Britain, while deliveries rose 4 percent each in the Americas and the Asian Pacific, which excludes greater China, where sales were up 3 percent.