Comet Group starts work on HQ expansion

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Comet Group: Andreas Freiburghaus, Ronald Fehlmann, Beat Vonlanthen
Picture: Comet Group: Andreas Freiburghaus, Ronald Fehlmann, Beat Vonlanthen

Related tags Switzerland

Comet Group has started work on expanding its HQ which will create 20,000 square meters of additional production space by mid-2018 and 250 more jobs.  

The firm develops its core components based on X-ray, high-frequency and ebeam technology at the site used in applications such as coating and treatment of surfaces and contact-free sterilization.

Production capacity is being extended to over 37,000 square meters and in the longer term, it is intended that it should house 250 additional staff.

By investing CHF 60m in the extension, Comet Group said it was affirming its commitment to Switzerland and the Canton of Fribourg.

Ronald Fehlmann, CEO of Comet Group, said: "As a result of its strong growth in recent years, our company has reached the limits of its production capacity in Flamatt. Today marks an important milestone in the implementation of our growth strategy.”

Comet has worked with Tetra Pak to use electron beams (ebeams) to replace hydrogen peroxide H₂O₂, in its carton filling machines and announced a strategic partnership last year to develop applications based on ebeam with Bühler.

Since moving into its headquarters in Flamatt 13 years ago, Comet Group has grown from a Berne-based company with 230 employees into an international technology group that has 13 sites and some 1,100 employees worldwide.

In that time, revenue has almost quadrupled from CHF 74.3m in 2002 to CHF 282.3m in 2015.

Dr Beat Vonlanthen, director of the economy for the Canton of Fribourg, said Comet Group has extremely tough competition from abroad to contend with.

“We see the Comet Group's desire to expand its production at its existing site in Flamatt and to create more jobs here as confirmation that we have indeed created the conditions for productive industry, and also as placing us under an obligation to maintain those conditions carefully."

The firm employs more than 1,050 people worldwide, including over 370 in Switzerland.

It has production facilities in China, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and the US and subsidiaries in the USA, China, Japan and Korea.

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