FRANKFURT German solar wholesaler Phoenix Solar plans to share its 2010 profits with investors, its chief executive said, while cautioning that the German market, the industry's biggest, would decline this year.
Phoenix Solar, along with peers SolarWorld and SMA Solar, is one of the very few sector companies in Germany that regularly pays out a dividend. For 2009, the company paid 0.20 euros ($0.28) a share, when net profit reached 8.6 million euros.
As the company's net profit is expected to more than triple to 27.1 million euros, the question is whether the company's shareholders will see an adequate payout for last year.
"Of course," Andreas Haenel told Reuters Insider TV on Wednesday. "We are pursuing a continuous dividend policy ... We expect to pay a good dividend for 2010," he said, without giving further details.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the company's 2010 dividend is expected to come in at 0.36 euros, an 80 percent increase year-on-year.
Shares in the company rose as much as 1.7 percent after the comments, outperforming the global FTSE cleantech index which was 0.4 percent higher.
"This is definitely a supporting factor for the share price," a Frankfurt-based trader said, also pointing to news from Norway's Renewable Energy Corp which beat profit forecasts and voiced confidence in the market outlook, sending its shares up 11.4 percent at 1401 GMT.
Phoenix Solar's Haenel, however, cautioned that the German solar market -- which grew to become the world's largest due to lavish sector subsidies -- would decline this year as the government cuts subsidies.
"This will definitely impact our sales volumes," he said.
The German cabinet is expected to agree on Wednesday to cut solar power subsidies by up to 15 percent in July, government sources said.
(Editing by David Holmes)