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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German solar wholesaler Phoenix Solar sees higher sales and order intake in the current quarter but no marked year-end rally in what its chief executive described as the worst year the industry has seen so far.
"I see a reasonable pickup in sales, solid demand with significantly higher order intake but no rally as we've seen in 2009," Andreas Haenel told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
In the last quarter of 2009, customers rushing to buy panels ahead of cuts in subsidies for solar power led to ballooning demand, with installations of 2.3 gigawatts (GW). In the first nine months of 2011, installations stood at about 3.7 GW, latest statistics from the German network agency showed.
Along with peers such as Q-Cells, SolarWorld and SMA Solar, Phoenix Solar has been hit hard by a massive price decline for solar modules of up to 40 percent this year and dropped its outlook last month.
"Next year, we see prices falling by about 10-20 percent, which is in line with the German government's plan to cut back feed-in tariffs by 15 percent from January," Haenel said, adding the company aimed to return to profitability in 2012.
The company earlier on Thursday reported a loss before interest and tax of 13.3 million euros ($18 million) for the third quarter, and Haenel said the company was cutting a medium two-digit number of jobs.
Asked whether the company was able to remain independent in the current crisis, Haenel said he saw no necessity for a cooperation at the moment.
"If we can return to growth, I'm sure we can go it alone."
(Editing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)