Employees are working in the research and development laboratory of the Top Glove factory in Shah Alam on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on August 26, 2020.
MOHD RASFAN | AFP via Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Malaysia's Top Glove, the world's largest manufacturer of medical gloves, is seeing "very strong" growth, according to Lee Kim Meow, CEO of the company.
"We are very optimistic about our future," Lee told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Friday.
His comments came after Top Glove reported Thursday that after-tax profit was up 417% year over year for fiscal 2020. The company said the "tremendous growth was due to a global surge in demand for gloves on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"In 2020, if you look at it, the effect didn't take effect until the middle of this year," Lee said.
Looking ahead, the company expects additional growth of at least 20% to 30% for the next year and of at least 15% to 20% for 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought gloves and face masks to the fore.
Lee Kim Meow
Managing Director, Top Glove
Lee said the coronavirus pandemic has had a "pretty profound" impact on glove makers.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has brought gloves and face masks to the fore," he said.
When asked about the demand and possible effects of stockpiling, Lee said that for her dealers and customers, the goods are sold out "before the container even gets to their warehouse".
"It's not like they buy the gloves to store, get ready, and hold in stock for two or three months," Lee said. "In our conversations with many of our customers, they have told us that they have no inventory at all and are still very desperate to get their hands on as many gloves as possible."
Hong Kong listing?
Top Glove's shares, listed in Singapore and Malaysia, have risen multiple times in 2020, fueled by record demand for medical gloves.
Top Glove is also planning a third Hong Kong listing within six to nine months, according to Reuters. The company's chief executive told CNBC that a third listing was "a very natural development".
"We want to create a bigger platform that gives our investors more opportunities to invest in the Top Glove Group, and at the same time it has to do with corporate image," said Lee.
"Essentially, we see this as an opportunity to raise funds for strategic M&A deals and even to buy companies that play a very synergistic role in our overall picture, to grow from one glove manufacturer and move into another strategic business . " he said.