German solar company Phoenix Solar will strive to pay a dividend even though painful cuts in solar incentives are looming in Germany, the company's chief executive told Reuters.
We should not punish our shareholders for undesirable political developments, Andreas Haenel said in an interview late on Tuesday.
Therefore, we will try hard to pay out a dividend for 2009, too, he added. Phoenix Solar paid a dividend of 0.30 euros ($0.417) per share for 2008.
The German government is planning to slash feed-in tariffs -- incentives utilities are obliged to pay to generators of solar power -- by 15 percent from April in what would be a major blow to the already crisis-ridden industry.
Still, Haenel confirmed that the company plans to grow revenues in 2010 from 2009. For 2009, Phoenix Solar expects sales to come in at 430-480 million euros.
I believe that we will grow in 2010 with regard to sales, but this will be mainly due to our foreign business, he said.
Shares in the company were indicated 0.1 percent easier before the market opens at 0800 GMT, while Germany's Tecdax index, was seen marginally firmer.
The company has already gone to great lengths to expand into markets such as the United States and Oman in a move to diversify its sales mix and to reduce exposure to the German market, where Phoenix Solar generates most of its sales.
This process is likely to be accelerated should the cuts be implemented in their current form.
In that case, Phoenix Solar will focus even more on its business abroad, Haenel said.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Editing by Michael Shields)