Daimler on Wednesday said it was expecting sales to rise twice as fast as the global car market this year after a difficult 2009.

"Our sales objective is of course ambitious but realistic: we want to grow twice as fast as the global automobile market," chief executive Dieter Zetsche told the annual shareholders' meeting in Berlin, according to an AFP report.

He said the company was operating on the assumption that worldwide car sales would rise 3-4%while its own turnover would surge 6-8%.

Daimler, which last week announced a partnership with Renault and Nissan to cut costs and accelerate sales of low-pollution electric cars, also confirmed its projections for the year, with operating profit of over EUR2.3bn (US$3.1bn).

Group turnover was seen rising this year but remaining weaker than in 2008, before the financial crisis.

Daimler saw a 10.1% drop in 2009 sales, with a net loss of EUR2.6bn despite an improvement in the second half of the year.

Zetsche said the company would pay no dividend for 2009, calling the step "necessary and in the long-term interest of shareholders", but pledged a dividend for 2010, AFP added.