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Condom giant hit by Covid lockdowns – RT Business News

Malaysian company Karex Berhad, which produces more than 5.5 billion condoms a year, said it will branch out into the booming medical glove manufacturing industry to increase revenue as demand for its production dwindles. .

In a recent interview with the Nikkei Asia, the company’s CEO Goh Miah Kiat attributed the drop in demand for condoms to the lockdowns induced by the pandemic. The company’s sales have declined 40% over the past two years. The sex industry, which is normally a major condom market, has also been hit by the health crisis, he said, as sex workers face difficult conditions. Goh pointed to the hotel and motel closures, noting that these places had ensured confidentiality.

According to the CEO of Karex, government programs for large-scale condom distribution have also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“A large part [of condoms] is distributed by governments around the world, which have reduced [distribution] significantly during Covid-19 ”, said Goh. “For example, in the UK, the NHS [National Health Service] closed most non-essential clinics due to Covid, and sexual wellness clinics that distribute condoms have also been closed, ” he added.

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Speaking of the company’s plans to embark on glove manufacturing, which has seen significant growth during the pandemic, Goh said production is due to start in Thailand by the middle of this year. Raw materials and similar technologies are used in both the manufacture of condoms and gloves, he explained.

Karex recorded a full-year loss for its fiscal year 2020 ending in June, which is the company’s first since its IPO in November 2013. Its share price on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange has fallen by nearly 50 % Last year.

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