Porsche, the once unassailable leader in the sports car segment, has proven that it too is susceptible to the harsh effects of the economic crisis that has been sweeping the globe over the past year. Coming off record sales and profits last year, Porsche has announced that it made a $6.6 billion loss for the financial year ending July 31, 2009.

Despite sales dropping by double digits, across almost every model line, the biggest hit to the sports car company’s bottom line was a failed attempt to takeover Volkswagen. This led to a massive write-down recognized for the cash-settlement options on Volkswagen shares, which Porsche originally purchased using debt.

Porsche, however, was quick to point out that the write-down exercise wouldn't actually affect the company's actual cash flow, showing up instead as just a on-paper loss.

Note also that the loss was reported by Porsche SE, the holding company of Porsche AG, which is the actual auto manufacturing division. Porsche AG has announced that its own operations still posted a double-digit margin in operating profit last year and remains the most profitable automaker in the world.

[Porsche]