MALAYSIA: Top Glove to boost nitrile glove capacity to meet demand from developed markets

It said demand and volume for this lighter variant hand gloves has grown the most amongst other variants by 50% year-on-year and 13% quarter-on-quarter in its third quarter for the financial period ended 31 May 2013.

"We noticed this trend since several years ago. The improved raw material enables manufacturers to make thinner gloves that lowers overall costs as well,” Top Glove managing director Lee Kim Meow said.

Executive director Lim Cheong Guan said gross profit margins for nitrile gloves were 20% compared with the average rate of about 16% for its wider industrial market and 15% for latex hand gloves.

"About 80% of our sales today are still latex gloves,” Lim said.

He said the company would expand its total production lines from 470 to 538 by April 2014 which would increase its annual capacity to 47.9 billion gloves from 41.1 billion now.

Chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee-Chai said there was downward pressure on the average selling price of latex gloves while the nitrile glove price was still holding up well. "Demand has increased for nitrile gloves and prices are holding up,” Wee-Chai said.

Lee, Cheong Guan and Wee-Chai were speaking at a teleconference briefing with analysts and journalists in Petaling Jaya on 13 June 2013.

The company adopts a cost-push formula which offsets any raw material price drop.

Source: Daily "The Star", Kuala Lumpur; 14 June 2013
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)