Daimler proposed a higher-than-expected annual dividend on Wednesday, predicting a considerable gain in earnings this year on better sales of its Mercedes premium cars and a turnaround at its trucks business.

Daimler plans to pay 1.85 euros ($2.50) per share for the 2010 business year, it said.

The Reuters poll mid-range estimate predicted a dividend of 1.75 euros per share, above the 10-year average of 1.58 when excluding last year -- the first time Daimler had to scrap a payout since 1995.

The company said 2011 earnings before interest and tax would be significantly above last year's figure, having previously said 2011 would be a very good year.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)