The COVID pandemic has not spared the world’s largest condom manufacturer Karex Bhd., with the use of its products plummeting to as much as 40% over the past two years.
Contrary to popular belief, sexual activity using the contraceptive did not increase, even with people staying home amid lockdowns.
The closure of hotels and non-essential clinics such as sexual wellness centres during the pandemic, along with various governments suspending condom hand-out programmes has contributed to the decline in Karex’s condoms sales, said the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Goh Miah Kiat.
The Malaysia-based company, which makes one out of every five condoms worldwide, is now moving into the booming medical glove-making business and plans to kick off production in Thailand by mid-2022.
Karex produces for brands like Durex, as well as its own line of speciality condoms. It churns out more than 5 billion condoms a year and exports them to over 140 countries.
The company’s shares have dropped about 18% since 2020, during which Malaysia’s benchmark stock index has lost 3.1%.