The saga concerning Porsche's progressing takeover of the Volkswagen Group has been reported in the media for months now, and despite the headaches involved Porsche's financial manoeuvring with the German giant’s stock has enabled it to declare the highest pre-tax profit in the company's history. For the financial year ending July 2008, Porsche recorded a profit of €8.57 billion ($10.9 billion) – a 46% rise on last year’s result.

The vast majority of this profit came from Porsche's trading in VW options, with €6.83 billion ($8.7 billion) coming from this alone. Another €1 billion ($1.27 billion) came from increases in the value of VW stock, which Porsche held a significant amount of since the beginning of this year.

The record profit comes as automakers around the world struggle to stay in the black, and the fact that it was the company’s financial trading success that was the main contributor to its bottom line has many analysts calling Porsche a hedge fund first and a carmaker second, reports the Financial Times.

Arndt Ellinghorst, who last week predicted that Porsche's takeover of VW would actually result in a reverse takeover, has calculated that if Porsche were to increase their holdings in VW "to more than 50% and cash in the remaining 25% of the options, they would make hedge funds and banks pay for the whole takeover".

But Porsche's financial success has not come without its detractors, with allegations of price manipulation being hurled against it from people in high positions. By purchasing call options, Porsche essentially profited from predictingthat the VW share price would rise - a prediction that it then made come true by purchasing large numbers of VW shares.