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Supermax’s US factory nears completion

Supermax’s US factory nears completion

08 Dec 2023

Supermax Corp Bhd announced that its first glove manufacturing facility in the US is nearing completion, with the group having fulfilled and complied with various regulatory requirements, including permits, to operate the plant in Brazoria County, Texas.

“Supermax’s American and Malaysian teams have been working very hard to manage the setting-up of the US operations and we are pleased to announce that construction of our first manufacturing facility will be substantially completed before the end of December 2023. The next stage will involve the installation of various manufacturing equipment including AI, automation and robotics facilities,” said Supermax executive chairman Datuk Seri Stanley Thai in a statement that was issued following the group’s annual general meeting on Friday.

“A technical team from Supermax Malaysia will be deployed to the US facility in various stages for commissioning of the manufacturing facility,” Thai added.

According to the group, it is the first Malaysian company to set up a glove plant in the US, the biggest glove consuming market in the world.

The group, however, did not indicate when the plant, in which it planned an investment of US$350 million (RM1.6 billion), is expected to start production. It had originally targeted that to be in the fourth quarter of 2022, which was then pushed back to the second quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, Thai shared with shareholders at the AGM that the group is expected to continue to face challenges for the next five to six quarters, with improvements only expected in 2025.

Last month, Supermax reported a net loss of RM2.05 million for its first quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (1QFY2024), compared to a net profit of RM5.71 million in 1QFY2023, as revenue shrunk to RM177.96 million from RM247.96 million amid weaker demand, while selling prices remained lower.

It is the group’s fourth straight loss-making quarter since 4QFY2023. Still, the group has been progressively narrowing its losses each quarter. It logged a net loss of RM108.07 million in 2QFY2023, RM39.91 million in 3QFY2023 and RM7.17 million in 4QFY2023.

In its results filing, Supermax attributed the losses it incurred to continued weak demand as buyers were still going through their heavily over-stocked positions post-pandemic, while it had to face a loss of revenue from a major market, the US, due to the Withhold Release Order imposed by the US Customs and Border Protection in October 2021, which was only lifted on Sept 18 this year.

Shares in Supermax settled unchanged at 90 sen on Friday, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM2.44 billion. The stock has climbed five sen or 5.88% since the start of this year.

Source: The Edge Malaysia