Ansell maintains guidance as glove demand stays strong

Ansell maintains guidance as glove demand stays strong

Glove and protective equipment manufacturer Ansell (ASX: ANN) saw its shares surge 17 per cent this morning after reaffirming earnings guidance and noting "very strong demand" for its AlphaTec range.

The company explains that despite the unprecedented uncertainties and implications from the unknown extent of the Covid-19 pandemic, it still expects to deliver earnings per share (EPS) of US112¢-US122¢.

In addition, demand has been high for Ansell's Microflex and TouchNTuff single-use examination gloves, as well as its Gammex and Encore surgical gloves.

This however will likely be offset by declining demand for some industrial products, temporary lockdowns, export restrictions within the EU and elsewhere, and other restrictions relating to the outbreak.

The group explains its teams are working closely with government authorities around the world so they can continue to manufacture protective products and distribute them to areas where they are needed most. 

Selective investments in new capacity are also being made, and the company expects to be able to continue to ship large quantities of product to key markets by leveraging locations that are not affected.

"As a safety company, the safety of our Ansell team members and the millions of customers we protect around the world remains our top priority," says Ansell's managing director and chief executive officer Magnus Nicolin.

"We are working to keep our Ansell people safe through home working where possible, social distancing and by providing PPE equipment and monitoring the health of all.

"This in turn, allows us to do even more to protect millions of customers worldwide."

Ansell used to be known for its condom brand which was sold in 2018. Reuters reports a condom shortage may be looming due to a factory shutdown for the world's biggest manufacturer, Malaysia's Karex Bhd.

Karex reportedly has not produced a single condom in a week, meaning shortfall of 100 million condoms that are normally distributed under the Durex brand.

Updated at 12:57pm AEDT on 30 March 2020.

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