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Kudelski calls for tax breaks and cuts jobs

The head of the Kudelski service technology group has called for tax breaks to alleviate companies struggling under the strong Swiss franc.

André Kudelski, chairman of the board and chief executive, said it was illusory to believe that market forces created fair conditions for all competitors.

In an interview with Le Temps newspaper, Kudelski suggested making research costs tax deductible in Switzerland similar to regulations in neighbouring France and in the United States.

His company, a leading provider of media content protection, on Monday announced it will cut 270 jobs worldwide, including 90 in Switzerland to remain competitive in the export-oriented market.

Under a cost-saving strategy to be effective in the second half of 2012, the company, which is based near Lausanne, also reduces its executive board and plans annual spending cuts of SFr90 million ($102.4 million).

The renowned Nagra audio unit is to be divested and run as an independent business.

The Kudelski Group has a total workforce of about 3,000 worldwide.

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