Vossloh to hive off 500 mln eur trains unit in overhaul

FRANKFURT, Dec 2 (Reuters) - German engineering group Vossloh said it would divest its unprofitable Transportation division, a maker of locomotives and commuter trains, to focus on rail infrastructure.

The Transportation division, with 500 million euros ($621 million) in expected 2014 sales, will be sold as a whole or in parts by 2017 or transferred into a partnership which will no longer be controlled by Vossloh, the company said on Tuesday.

The rail engineering group in June said it was working on a major shake-up to boost profitability, causing one-off costs that would result in an operating loss this year.

Vossloh swapped out its entire management board earlier this year as the company reported a slide in profits, blaming a weak global economy and tight government spending on infrastructure.

The group’s new chief executive, former Siemens manager Hans Schabert, said at the time substantial action was needed.

Vossloh said on Tuesday it expected 2014 sales of about 1.34 billion euros. It confirmed a previous forecast for a loss before interest and tax of 150-180 million euros or earnings before interest and tax of 30 million when adjusted for one-off items.

$1 = 0.8049 euro Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan