Porsche revs up Volkswagen earnings

German automaker Volkswagen is raising its dividend after turbocharged earnings from its Porsche luxury line offset a slip in revenues from mass-market cars.

The automaker said today that 2013 operating earnings, which don't count tax and one-time charges, rose slightly to 11.7 billion euros ($ 16.3 billion) from 11.5 billion euros last year. That was enough for it to raise the dividend to 4 euros per ordinary share, from 3.50 euros.

Porsche, maker of the 911 sports car and Cayenne sport-utility vehicle, made a major contribution, with 2.6 billion euros in operating earnings and a fat 18 per cent profit margin. But sales fell 4.4 per cent at the mass-market Volkswagen brand, due to spending on new technology, a stronger euro, and a slack economy in Western Europe.

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