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* Faces 140 mln Sfr restructuring charge, booked in 2009
* Sticks to announced operation EBIT before charges (Adds details from statement)
ZURICH, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Swiss drug industry supplier Lonza Group LONN.VX said on Tuesday it was closing three chemical sites to cut costs as it grapples with a challenging economic environment.
Lonza will close its sites at Riverside in the United States, Shawinigan in Canada and Wokingham in Britain and will cut 175 employees, aiming to cut fixed costs by between 60 million Swiss francs ($59.1 million) and 80 million in the next 18 to 24 months, it said in a statement.
The group will face total restructuring cost of approximately 140 million francs, booked into 2009. Seventy percent of those charges are non-cash.
"The operational EBIT for 2009 before special charges for these restructuring cost is fully on track and will be, as announced in Q3 2009, well within the range of CHF 360-380 million (francs)," the company said in its statement. (Editing by David Holmes)