Top Glove Q1 profit plunges 92%, company warns of weak demand

Workers collect rubber gloves at Top Glove's factory in Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 11, 2008. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's Top Glove said on Friday (Dec 10) its first-quarter profit had been nearly wiped out, adding that it expected the business environment in the immediate term to be challenging.

The world's largest medical glove maker posted net profit of RM185.7 million (S$60.1 million) during the September-November quarter, a plunge of 92 per cent from RM2.36 billion a year ago.

Revenue tumbled 67 per cent to RM1.58 billion, its stock exchange filing showed.

The company said average selling prices and demand have been returning to normal after the global rollout of coronavirus vaccine, while customers stay cautious on replenishment orders, in expectation of a further fall in glove prices.

"The group saw a decrease in sales volume in the current quarter, which was attributed to increased competition and supply, owing to expansion by existing players and entrance of new players," Top Glove said.

It added that it had gradually regained exports to the United States, and expected sales volume to improve in coming quarters.

Last year, the US Customs banned imports of Top Glove's products from Malaysia over accusations of forced labour at its operations, but lifted the ban in September after a review showed Top Glove addressed all indicators of forced labour.

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