STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ Luxury sports car manufacturer Porsche AG plans to cooperate with Volkswagen on manufacturing utility vehicles, according to a newsmagazine report Tuesday.

The two German carmakers are to sign a contract in April, Stern reported, but it was not immediately clear where the vehicles would be built. Porsche hopes to introduce two new models by 2002, constructed on a VW frame and bearing the Porsche name.

Both companies declined comment on the report.

In addition, Porsche announced Tuesday that its earnings and sales figures for the six months ending Jan. 31 were higher than expected.

First-half profits rose 82 percent over the same period last year to 69.7 million marks ($38.7 million), compared to preliminary estimates of 65 million marks ($36 million), the company said.

Sales rose 10.2 percent to 96 billion marks in the fiscal first half, while preliminary estimates had put the increase at about 9.6 percent, or 1.95 billion marks.

The Stuttgart-based company also said first-half unit sales increased 10.4 percent to 14,958 units, up from an earlier estimate of 14,900.