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Alcon expands Swiss operations

Alcon will establish a global administration operations centre in Fribourg, Switzerland

Alcon has said it will establish a global administration operations centre in Fribourg, Switzerland.

The Swiss-based company says the expansion will also include the relocation of finance, IT, logistics and other centralised administrative operations from Huenenberg to the new site. It will also establish a new European area and marketing management centre in Geneva.

Alcon will remain headquartered in Huenenberg, Switzerland, from where local Swiss sales and marketing activities will continue to be managed. The company's Grieshaber manufacturing operations will remain in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

The company's global administration operations in Huenenberg currently provide an array of common services for EU and other affiliates. The Fribourg relocation is expected to expand these activities and will begin in Q3 or Q4 2007.

The relocation is slated to take more than two years. During the five years after the relocation, Alcon says it will double the size of the Fribourg relocation and broaden the common services it offers to affiliates. The expansion is designed to support continued expected sales and employment growth of the company's European affiliates.

Alcon says it will win Swiss tax benefits for the relocation, with the initial term starting at the beginning of 2008 and continuing for five years. The global effective tax rate benefits are expected to be in the range of 13.5 to 14.5 per cent in FY08.

Alcon says it will invest most of the 2008 tax benefit on the relocation and expansion of its Swiss operations, the funding of additional R&D projects and augmented strategic marketing and sales programmes.

Cary Rayment, Alcon's CEO, said: "With our Swiss domicile and long history of centrally managing global activities in Switzerland, we are pleased to have the opportunity to maintain our centralised service operations in the country and also to add a significant number of high-quality jobs in Fribourg and Geneva."

Finally, Alcon's board has approved an increase in the company's share repurchase programmes to allow for the purchase of an additional two million shares of outstanding common stock. The shares will be repurchased to cover the expected future exercise of employee equity grants.

10th September 2007

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