Franco-American telecoms gear maker Alcatel-Lucent does not expect the industry in Germany to grow this year, the head of its German unit said on Monday.

Germany will not grow this year. Our job is therefore to defend our position, Alf Henryk Wulf said during the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover.

Alcatel-Lucent in February posted a wider-than-forecast loss, missed revenue expectations and cut its 2010 operating margin target due to a tough market for telecommunications gear.

The company, which competes with rivals such as Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens Networks, Huawei and ZTE, also confirmed its view that the global telecom gear market would grow by 0 to 5 percent this year.

This contrasts with rivals which have declined to give predictions saying the market is too uncertain.