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Posted: May 6, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Almost 100 Bard workers to lose jobs

Urological division merged with Covington's medical division

C.R. Bard Inc. announced that it is cutting 98 jobs in Covington as it consolidates the urological and medical divisions. Public affairs spokeswoman Holly Glass said the Harland Drive facility will close by June 22 as part of Bard's strategic adjustment plan to improve its overall cost structure and improve efficiency.

She said the first jobs will likely be eliminated on June 22 and that employees will receive severance and outplacement benefits. However, Bard will continue to sell all products made by both the urological and medical divisions, which will both be housed in the Industrial Boulevard facility.

Mayor Kim Carter said the city never wants to see a loss of jobs, particularly from large employers like Bard, but she said the company has always been a good employer and community member and she expects that relationship to continue.

A manufacturing facility for Bard Urological Division was first built in Newton County in 1967. Bard Medical Division was built in Covington in 1996. Other facilities have been built in other Georgia cities, and the company has about 700 employees statewide.

Glass said the company is also realigning certain sales and marketing functions in its European businesses. Bard's first quarter net sales were up 2 percent over 2008's first quarter, and chairman and CEO Timothy M. Ring said in a press release that expense management was a key factor in the growth.

According to the company's Web site, Bard makes products in the areas of vascular, urology and oncology. Bard also has a line of advanced surgical specialty products and services. Bard Urological provides products, services and education for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer, diseases and conditions of the urinary tract, female incontinence and pelvic prolapse.

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