Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa sees a sector recovery in 2011, but net profit will decline in 2009 on weaker-than-expected sales, according to embargoed comments from Chairman Guillermo Ulacia to reporters on Thursday.

The target this year is to sell more than 3 gigawatts (of wind turbines, compared to the 3.7 GW sold in 2008) ... In relative terms we will see a decline in profits, but they will still be profits, Ulacia said ahead of the group's AGM on Friday.

Gamesa said after its first-quarter results earlier this month that it expected to sell 3.3 to 3.6 GW of turbines in 2009.

Ulacia reiterated that the fall in sales is not down to order cancellations, but to clients postponing orders to 2010 and 2011, delays which Gamesa hopes to offset with more short-term spot contracts for turbines over the year.

Gamesa, which also builds turnkey windfarms, posted 320 million euros ($447.8 million) of net profit in 2008, a figure boosted by 145 million euros of one-time gains from the sale of its solar unit.

The U.S., China and India will be the main markets for demand in 2011, Ulacia said.

Gamesa has already said that it is boosting production in the United States and China and has formed an alliance with China's Guandong Nuclear to build 250 MW of windfarms in Shandong county.

The company has decided to start work on a wind turbine assembly plant to produce 20 MW of wind turbines annually in India, the chairman said.

($1=.7146 Euro)

(Reporting by Clara Vilar; writing by Jonathan Gleave; editing by Simon Jessop and Rupert Winchester)