KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Top Glove Corporation Bhd is expected to resume operations at all its 28 glove manufacturing plants in Meru, Klang, within the next two to three weeks, said chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai.
He said seven plants had resumed operations during the first stage of operation restoration that began yesterday, and the second stage would see another seven plants restarting operations by the upcoming weekend.
“Hopefully, all (28) factories would be running and everything will be back to normal within the next two to three weeks,” he said at a virtual briefing on the company’s results for the first quarter (Q1) ended November 30, 2020, here today.
Top Glove had temporarily closed 28 of its factories in Klang due to the spike of Covid-19 infections among its workers there. These 28 plants represent about 50 per cent of the company’s production capacity.
However, Lim said the closure of factories in Klang since November this year was anticipated to affect only four per cent of the company’s revenue for this financial year ending August 31, 2021 (FY21).
To lessen the dependency on foreign workers and create job opportunities for the locals, managing director Datuk Lee Kim Meow said, Top Glove aimed to recruit 7,000 local employees in FY21 from close to 5,000 in FY20.
Asked on the penalty from the government following the company’s violation of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446), Lee said thus far, Top Glove had yet to receive any news from the relevant authority.
“But we wish to appeal to the government to help us, and to let them know that we are a serious company and we want to comply (with the regulations),” he said.
On how the Covid-19 vaccine would affect the company’s growth next year, Lim expressed confidence that demand for gloves would remain firm globally despite the availability of the vaccine.
“Judging from our order book with the capacity for next year having been fully booked, it shows that vaccine would not affect demand for gloves globally,” he said.
According to the presentation slides, demand for Top Glove’s products remained strong in Q1 FY21. This was driven by Asia excluding Japan, which surged 72.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), and Western Europe which soared 70.2 per cent y-o-y.
However, demand from North America slid two per cent in Q1 FY21 from a year earlier, mainly affected by the import ban issue related to the United States Customs and Border Protection.