World's Top Condom Maker Sees 2022 Sales to Exceed Pre-COVID Levels

Brands under Malaysia's Karex include Durex.
A staff of of Malaysia's condom manufacturer Karex shows a condom at its factory in Pontian, 320 km (200 miles) southeast of Kuala Lumpur Nov. 7, 2012.
Photo/s: Bazuki Muhammad, Reuters

The world's top condom maker, Malaysia's Karex Bhd, expects demand to top pre-pandemic levels this year on consumer buying of premium products and restocking by federal health agencies.

Sales to brands such as Durex rose 30% in fiscal 2021 and accounted for 60% of its revenue, up from 49% a year earlier.

"When there was a 40% drop in terms of global consumption, Karex's ... consumer segment has continued to grow," CEO Goh Miah Kiat told Reuters on Friday.

"This year, I expect the demand to recover to pre-pandemic times. Sales value could increase even more as consumers are buying more premium products."


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Sales are increasing particularly at the company's consumer business, after the pandemic triggered lockdowns, shutting factories and hampering social activities, Goh told Reuters.

He declined to provide outlook numbers.

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In the year ended June 2021, the company's sales grew 6%, versus 4% in the previous year, though it logged its first annual loss since listing in 2013.

For fiscal 2022, analysts expect sales to grow 9%, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.

Goh said demand would be buoyed by restocking by distributors and government departments which have been depleted over the past two years.

"We're starting to see a lot of orders coming in on an emergency basis," Goh said.

The company is also planning to launch new products this year, including a condom made of synthetic material, and is looking to diversify into medical glove manufacturing, Goh said.

It will start out with a target to produce 500 million gloves at its plant in Thailand by March and aims to increase production to a full capacity of 2.5 billion in three years, Goh said.

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