As outlined on last quarter's call, these consolidation steps are expected to achieve annualized cost savings in the order of $3.4 million beginning in second half of 2010.
As we move through 2010, we will continue to deal all aspects of our operation to drive increased profitability and achieve further operating leverage as our customer demand improves. In addition to improvements in our core orthopedics business, we have made notable progress in expanding our non-orthopedic direct sales operation at SSI (inaudible).
The team with SSI is doing an excellent job building on brand recognition to establish a global distribution network supported by a US direct sales force. This aggressive approach led SSI to achieve record sales during the first quarter. We expect this momentum to continue following our launch of a dedicated website in the second quarter that will enable SSI to sell directly to our global customer base.
On our fourth quarter 2009 call, we mentioned new investments in sales, marketing and our new product line.During the first quarter we started to increase our expansion in this area and recently appointed [José Hernández] as new SVP of new product development to spearhead our new product development activities. He will lead a focused team responsible for new product creation to complement all parts of our operation with an emphasis on products and intellectual property creation. José is an industry veteran who join Symmetry with multiple years of new product development experience within the orthopedic and spine market. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com