FRANKFURT - Heliocentris Fuel Cells, a German expert for clean energy storage, sees higher sales next year as it hopes to benefit from support programmes around the world, its chief financial officer told Reuters.

Next year, we want to grow regarding revenues as we expect the market for clean energy storage to pick up further, Andras Gosztonyi said in an interview on Tuesday.

The company -- whose competitors include Canada-based Hydrogenics and German unlisted FutureE -- on Monday reported 9-month sales of 2.3 million euros ($3.46 million), an increase of 33 percent year-on-year. The company has not given a concrete outlook for this year or 2010.

Its net loss for the period came in at 2.1 million euros, mainly due to personnel expenses as the company is hiring to expand its business -- the storage of clean energy through fuel cells and batteries.

We hope to benefit from government programmes as well as from the fact that companies, such as big carmakers, are increasing their efforts in the energy storage business, Gosztonyi said, adding that the company was planning to increase its R&D spending.

Heliocentris is already carrying out projects in the automotive industry, where the push for electric cars has led big players such as Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp to develop vehicles powered by fuel cells.

At the same time, governments around the world are increasing their efforts to develop and fund renewable energy projects, a subject that is likely to be highlighted at the United Nation's climate change conference that will start next Monday.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)