After recording a pre-tax loss of DM759m in the financial year which ended on September 30 1998, Siemens Transportation Systems is expecting to reduce its losses ’substantially’ in 1998-99 by further strengthening systems competence which represents a ’unique competitive advantage’. According to the Siemens annual report for 1997-98, Trans-portation Systems’ top priority is to improve ’the profitability and competitiveness of our customers’, and the group is ’rigorously pushing modularisation and standardisation’ in its components sector.Siemens attributes the worsening of a DM177m loss in 1996-97 to DM759m in 1997-98, which prompted the departure of Transportation Systems President Wolfram Martinsen on September 30 last year (RG 9.98 p574), to ’enormous pressure on prices and difficulties with individual projects’. Provision for order and business-related risk was increased in the course of a general audit, which had an impact on earnings. Under an agreement signed on November 3 and backdated to October 1, Siemens Schienenfahrzeugtechnik GmbH of Kiel was sold to Vossloh AG.Sales in 1997-98 rose by 23% from DM4·1bn to DM5bn, with major projects billed in Portugal, Great Britain, the USA and Taiwan. New orders were down 29% from DM7·1bn to DM5·1bn, as the high volume recorded in 1996-97 included major projects which could not be matched.Looking to enter the British signalling market, Siemens Transportation Systems has formed a new Signalling & Control Group based at Kingstanding in the West Midlands. Under a contract awarded by Railtrack, the group is currently at work on a preliminary study to determine the viability of undertaking the 72 km Dorset Coast resignalling scheme between Totton and Moreton using Siemens equipment, including SIMIS-W interlockings, AzSM axlecounters and S700KM point machines.