FRANKFURT, March 1 (Reuters) - SMA Solar (S92G.DE), Germany's largest solar group, is planning to pay a dividend for the past year, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.
"SMA is a company that attaches great importance to continuity. This holds also true for our pay-out ratio of 20 to 40 percent of annual net profit," Pierre-Pascal Urbon said in an interview.
"We therefore want to propose a dividend for 2011 to the supervisory board," he added.
SMA Solar -- which will publish its 2011 full-year report on March 30 -- has not yet released a figure for 2011 net profit, but based on the Starmine estimate of 178 million euros ($238 million), the pay-out ratio suggests a dividend between 1-2 euros per share.
The company's dividends for 2009 and 2010 -- 1.30 euros a share and 3.00 euros a share, respectively -- both equalled a pay-out ratio of nearly 30 percent.
Urbon said new photovoltaic installations in Germany would halve this year in a best-case scenario, following the country's decision to cut state-mandated incentives for photovoltaic electricity by up to 30 percent on March 9.
SMA Solar is the world's largest maker of solar inverters, a key component of solar installations converting electricity generated from panels into a form which can be fed into an electricity grid.
Urbon said the drastic cuts planned by the German government would lead to structural adjustments at the company, including temporary employment.
"Regarding investments, we need to act with caution, too," Urbon said, adding that the company would increase investments in innovation and technology.
($1 = 0.7476 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)
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