Glove maker’s profits spike 417 percent thanks to coronavirus

The world’s largest producer of disposable gloves saw its profits explode as the coronavirus pandemic sparked a worldwide hand-hygiene frenzy.

Malaysia-based Top Glove posted after-tax profits of about $459 million in its last fiscal year — a massive, 417-percent spike from the prior year — thanks to “a global surge in demand for gloves on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company also raked in record revenues of more than $1.7 billion in the year ending Aug. 31, a 51 percent year-over-year jump, while it sales volumes climbed 17 percent, it said Thursday.

“We are very pleased to be able to deliver such strong results and even more so, to be in a position to help protect and save lives in Malaysia and all over the world with our gloves,” Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai, Top Glove’s executive chairman, said in a statement.

Top Glove took a hit in July when US Customs and Border Protection officials issued an order barring imports from two of its subsidiaries that allegedly used forced labor practices. The so-called withhold release order was still active as of Friday, according to the agency’s website.

Despite the sanction, Top Glove said its monthly orders have surged about 150 percent from to pre-pandemic levels. The company also said it was in talks with US officials and “making good progress” toward having the order lifted. CBP has said it did not expect the order to significantly affect total US imports of disposable rubber gloves.

Top Glove — which also makes face masks, condoms and dental dams — expects business to keep booming given that the deadly COVID-19 virus remains a constant threat. The company expects demand for gloves to grow by 25 percent in 2021 and another 15 percent in a “post-COVID” landscape.

“Notwithstanding news of several promising vaccines in the pipeline, glove demand remains at a supernormal level, as gloves will still be required even when a vaccine becomes available,” the Top Glove said in a news release.

With Post wires