The world’s largest condom manufacturer, Karex in Malaysia, had to decide to switch in part to a manufacturer of latex gloves, because it could not sell its own condoms.
The head of the company, which produces 5.5 billion condoms annually – about 20% of global production – and supplies the Durex brand in particular, admitted earlier this month, in an interview with Nikkei Asia, a 40% decrease in its sales.
Goh Miah Kiat, who had so far been anticipating a significant increase in his sales at the start of the pandemic, is finally struggling to sell his products.
According to Karex’s president and CEO, hotel stays disrupted by the pandemic have played a significant role in this sales slump, especially in developing countries where hotels allow lovers to find a bit of privacy.
Disruptions in prevention clinics also hurt Karex’s business. “For example, in the UK, the National Health Service has closed non-essential clinics due to COVID, including prevention clinics that distribute condoms,” explained Guh Waters Kia, stressing that governments are usually important customers.
The director expects sales to rise in 2022. Meanwhile, Karex is also counting on operating its new latex glove production lines to rebuild financial health, after denouncing its first financial losses over the past year since its 2013 IPO.
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