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Orion Diagnostica introducing statutory negotiations with personnel to improve operations

Actions to improve efficiency are necessitated by overcapacity at the production plants in Turku and Oulunsalo as well as the decreased demand for certain older-generation products manufactured at the plant in Espoo, having led to essentially and continually decreased work loads. In the negotiations, the necessary measures as well as their justifications, impacts and alternative options will be handled in the course of the next coming weeks.
The measures are anticipated to lead to changes in responsibility areas, task switchings, and possibly also lay-offs. According to the current estimate, about 60 persons representing all employee categories and all sites of Orion Diagnostica in Finland will be concerned, except the white-collar employees engaged in the sales and marketing, as well as the financial staff of the company. Lay-offs will be tried to be avoided, using means such as rearrangements of tasks, relocation, and job opportunities also in Orion's other business divisions. The marketing companies of Orion Diagnostica in Sweden, Norway and Denmark are excluded from the scope of the negotiations.
Orion Diagnostica is a business division of the Orion Group specialising in diagnostic tests. The division generated net sales of EUR 39.3 million in 2004, and the number of employees is about 320.
The profitability of the division as a whole is at a good level, with an operating profit of EUR 5.6 million for 2004. The product range is, however, suffering from a structural imbalance, the maintenance of matured low-demand products cutting overall productivity. The principal reasons for the adjustments are related to the need to trim the product range and to adjust the continued overcapacity in production, above all.  
Orion Diagnostica's management is confident that sustained long-term profitability and the growth opportunities in the business arena of diagnostics can be secured best by concentrating on innovative new-generation tests and product families for point-of-care testing. The market for point-of-care diagnostics is in favour of products and advanced technologies offering high overall health-economic benefits: the better the test is in terms of user-friendliness, rapidness and reliability, the better it will help the doctor to initiate an adequate treatment of the patient, and the higher therapeutic and economic benefits can be achieved. The current lead product of Orion Diagnostica, QuikRead CRP, has taken its place on the market for infection tests with these particular characteristics.
Orion Corporation
Jukka Viinanen                                        Olli Huotari
President and CEO                                  General Counsel
Contact persons:
Jukka Viinanen, President and CEO, Orion Corporation, phone +358 10 429 3710
Jaakko Rissanen, President, Orion Diagnostica Oy, phone +358 10 429 4858
Helsinki Exchanges
Orion Corporation
Corporate Administration
Orionintie 1A, 02200 Espoo