Declining prospects not denting Iconic Worldwide’s faith in glove/PPE

AS Focus Dynamics Group Bhd shifted its attention from glove to the trendier electrical vehicle (EV) sector, Penang-based Iconic Worldwide Bhd probably believes in completing whatever one has started in regardless of challenges that lie ahead.

In fact, the company which is primarily involved in tourism, property development and manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) is adamant that demand for PPE is sustainable even after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the new norm and public awareness on the need for self-protection and hygienic practices.

Its managing director Datuk Tan Kean Tet further justified that while the average selling price (ASP) of gloves has been dropping, raw material prices have also come down about 70%, hence “we are confident of maintaining the bottom net figures,”.

“Furthermore, the group will be exploring the possibility of producing nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) in Malaysia to address market demand for the raw material,” he envisages as Iconic Worldwide unveiled that its wholly-owned subsidiary Iconic Medicare Sdn Bhd has completed its new RM200 mil PPE manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan.

Located on a 5.5-acre site, the glove and disposable medical face mask production facility is expected to yield a minimum production capacity of 3.3 billion pieces of gloves and 220 million pieces of medical face masks per annum.

At the initial stage, the group has started running four double former glove dipping lines with plan afoot to increase to six by end-2021. By 1Q 2022, a total of 12 double former glove dipping lines and 20 medical face mask production lines would be installed and commissioned.

Currently, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and China are the main producers of NBR whereas Malaysia is the largest consumer and importer globally by consuming 65% of the world’s supply of NBR. By producing NBR locally, glove makers will be able to ensure a consistent supply of the raw material in addition to reducing production and logistics costs.

As for the group’s gloves and medical face masks businesses, Tan noted that the product quality outcome has been very good so far.

“For gloves, we will be targeting mainly the export market. The demand in Malaysia is not high, so we are looking towards Europe and the US as principal markets,” Tan pointed out. “We have already obtained the CE, FDA and ISO certifications for our medical face masks and nitrile gloves, all of which will enable the company to export its products overseas.”

As for masks, Iconic Worldwide is currently focusing on the local market although it does export its products for better business sustainability.

“The group has full confidence to move forward and expand even further. Iconic Medicare has diversified its medical face masks product range by producing new types of protective masks such as KF99 and KN99 respirators,” enthused Tan.

“These come with a 3D mask structure for better fit and double melt blown protection which improves the overall filtration performance. We are the first in Malaysia to produce copper oxide KF99 and KN99 masks that are able to kill the coronavirus as proven by lab testing.”

At 12.17pm, Iconic Worldwide was up 1.5 sen or 3.41% to 46 sen with 2.38 million shares traded, thus valuing the company at RM218 mil. – Nov 10, 2021

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/amp/business/2021/11/744081/iconic-worldwide-completes-building-rm200mil-ppe-plant

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