Stäfa (Switzerland), March 7, 2019 - Sonova Holding AG, a leading global provider of hearing solutions, announces that it has initiated steps to further improve its local operating structure. These actions will further strengthen the supply chain and consolidate certain services provided by our hearing instruments business within specific countries. The measures are being implemented in the UK, Germany and Canada and are expected to result in a combined reduction in workforce in these markets by about 250 employees. Sonova is fully committed to following the rules and regulations of the labor legislation in the respective countries and where required, a consultation process with employee representatives has been initiated. The measures are expected to result in restructuring costs of approximately CHF 11 million in FY 2018/19 and to lead to annual cost savings of around CHF 7 million once fully implemented. These costs had not previously been considered in our guidance for the year. Adjusted for these additional costs, Sonova maintains its guidance for the year, expecting overall sales to grow in the range of 2%-4% and EBITA to increase 6%-9% (compared to normalized fiscal year 2017/18 EBITA), both measured in local currencies.
In order to mitigate general risk within our supply chain and also with a view towards the potential imminent withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, Sonova intends to shift certain services and manufacturing activities provided by its UK service center in Warrington to its Regional Center in Spain as well as to its operation center in Vietnam. The measure will help to ensure the best possible seamless service for our European customers in case of potential new trade barriers. The process is expected to take several months. Furthermore, Sonova is in the process of integrating certain services for all of its hearing instrument brands at a single location each in Germany and in Canada in order to further optimize the footprint of its operations. The measures are expected to be completed in the second half of calendar year 2019. The support activities of Hansaton Akustik GmbH will be integrated into the Sonova organization in Fellbach. In Canada, Sonova is centralizing its service and repair activities in Mississauga. The steps announced today are part of Sonova's ongoing effort to improve productivity through structural improvements and to ensure the reliability of services to our customers.
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