COVID outbreak hits top rubber glove maker

Volunteers deliver food to Top Glove workers at their hostel

Despite Tuesday's slump, its shares have surged over four fold this year.

Shares in the company, which commands a quarter of the global latex glove market, are still more than four times higher than at the start of the year as the firm has racked up record profits this year amid sky-rocketing demand for its products.

However, the world's biggest rubber glove manufacturer, in a reply to Bursa Malaysia, said it does not anticipate a penalty from the delay in delivery.

Top Glove's shares were down as much as 7.5% by late morning after the government said 28 factory buildings will be shut in phases, although it did not provide a timetable.

Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd are the other two top glovemakers in the country.

Most of the total 2,524 positive cases in the cluster were factory workers, with 2,360 foreigners and 164 Malaysians, he said.

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Its remaining 12 factories in the area remained operating at reduced capacities. Its main markets are Europe and North America.

According to Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah, among the 5,767 people linked to the Malaysian glove maker cluster who undergone testing, 2,524 turned out to be positive to COVID-19.

In terms of impact on total production capacity of about 14 days, based on the enhanced movement control order period from November 17 to November 30, the 28 affected facilities in Meru represent about 50 per cent of the company's total production capacity. But she said tight supply could push prices up.

Twelve other facilities are now operating at about 20 per cent capacity and will be temporarily closed in stages for employee testing and full site sanitisation before re-opening. "As such, the actual impact to Top Glove's full-year earnings may be hard to ascertain at this point", she said.

Two other analysts predicted a 2% hit to annual profit.

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