* Says aims to keep 2009 div stable vs 1.10 eur/shr in 2008
* Sees business with banks becoming more important
* Shares up 2.8 pct
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, March 1 (Reuters) - German business software company Software AG SOWG.DE aims to keep its 2009 dividend stable compared with 2008, when it paid out 1.10 euros ($1.50) a share, its chief executive told Reuters in an interview.
“We assume that we will pay a dividend (for 2009) and we also assume that the dividend will remain stable,” Karl-Heinz Streibich said.
Streibich had said in early February that the company had not yet decided on a dividend but he added that a payout level similar to that of 2008 was possible. [nWEB8116]
The company’s acquisition of IDS Scheer last year as well as a difficult market environment had left investors anxious for details about Software AG’s dividend. [nLD173105]
Peer SAP (SAPG.DE) said late January it would not recommend a dividend reduction, after the company pleased investors with a strong fourth-quarter performance in Asia earlier that month in a sign that IT spending is rising again. [nWEB6884] [nLDE60Q044]
Streibich said that takeovers remain a permanent pillar of the company’s growth strategy but asked if there was a candidate of similar size to the 500 million euro volume of the IDS Scheer deal, he said: ”There is none yet.
Streibich also commented on the company’s business with banking and insurance clients, which accounted for a third of the company’s total 847 million euros in sales in 2009.
”Banks have transparency issues and we want to increase transparency. This means that this business area will become even more important for us,“ Streibich said.”
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)
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