Volvo AB, the world’s second-largest truckmaker, agreed to sell its unprofitable North American construction-equipment rental business to Platinum Equity for 7.2 billion kronor ($1.1 billion) to focus on manufacturing.      The disposal of the Volvo Rents unit will result in a 1.5 billion-krona cost this quarter and is targeted for completion in the first three months of next year, the Gothenburg, Sweden- based company said today in a statement.      Chief executive officer Olof Persson (pictured) is shifting Volvo’s focus to profitability from sales growth. The truckmaker laid out a strategy in 2011 to achieve operating margins at the top of the heavy-equipment industry, and it’s exiting businesses unrelated to making commercial vehicles and construction machinery. Volvo Rents posted a nine-month operating loss of 47 million kronor, the parent company said today.      “The sale value looks good for a loss-making business,” said David Arnold, a London-based industry specialist at Barclays plc’s investment-banking unit, said in an e-mail. “The cash inflow should allow the company to maintain the dividend, albeit in a low-quality fashion.”

Stock Rises

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.