Porsche pays higher staff bonus despite VW cost-cutting drive

Almost 20,000 staff will get a bonus of up to $9,881 each

BERLIN (Reuters) — Porsche said it would pay workers a higher bonus for 2015 despite the emissions test-rigging scandal at parent Volkswagen that has sparked cost reductions across the group.

Porsche, the second-biggest contributor to group profit among Volkswagen's (VW) brands, will pay almost 20,000 staff at plants in the German cities of Stuttgart and Leipzig a bonus of up to 8,911 euros ($9,881) each, up from 8,600 a year earlier, it said on Wednesday.

Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said workers deserved the higher payout for helping the sports-car maker "achieve an exceptional result in an environment that was anything but easy."

Vehicle sales jumped almost a fifth to a record 225,121 cars in 2015, helped by the first full year of deliveries of the Macan sport-utility vehicle, boosting operating profit by a quarter to 3.4 billion euros.

VW, Europe's biggest automaker, is accelerating a cost-savings program at its core division and has earmarked about 3,000 office jobs to be cut in Germany as it struggles to cover the costs of its emissions scandal.

Top executives and labor leaders at the core VW brand have agreed staff on in-house contracts, around 100,000 people, should also be rewarded with a bonus for 2015, but the amount is expected to be lower than the previous year's 5,900 euros each.

Earlier this month, VW's luxury division Audi said it would pay workers at its German plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm a bonus of 5,420 euros each on average, down from 6,540 euros for 2014.

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