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Geographical expansion

We expanded our manufacturing capacity during the year, especially in the emerging markets. The most significant developments were in Dubai in the Middle East and Chengdu in China, where we opened new production facilities. The new sites in Russia and the Czech Republic – which we announced in 2007 – also started full operations. With the mature economies of Western Europe and North America experiencing a downturn in 2008, we benefited from the continued growth in the emerging regions of Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, where we have made major investments.

To address the shift in the character of customer demand, we have redesigned our infrastructure in Western Europe to enable rapid delivery. We are now capable of delivering almost any product, in any color, in any order size, anywhere in Western Europe within five days. We also expanded Cromadex, our distribution organization, with ten new centers opening across Europe.

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