• Wed. May 25th, 2022

World’s largest condom maker says condom sales slump during pandemic

The world’s largest condom maker, Karex, said demand has declined over the past two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Getty Images

  • Karex, the world’s largest condom maker, said condom sales have fallen over the past two years.
  • Malaysian society itself had assumed at the start of the pandemic that demand would increase.
  • The company blamed hotel closings and cutbacks in government distribution programs for delayed sales.
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Condom sales have fallen precipitously during the pandemic, according to the world’s largest contraceptive maker, which has seen sales drop by as much as 40% in the past two years, according to Nikkei.

While many believed that people would have nothing to do “other than have sex” indoors due to movement restrictions, this did not appear to be the case, said Karex CEO Goh Miah Kiat , to the media.

The Malaysian contraceptive company produces around 5.5 billion condoms per year and is a supplier to brands like Durex and ONE Condoms. It also produces its own brands of condoms.

Karex had assumed at the start of the pandemic that demand for condoms would increase as people locked in the home practiced birth control due to economic uncertainty, Bloomberg reported in March 2020, citing Goh. Goh also predicted a condom shortage at the time due to plant closures due to a pandemic.

Instead, the demand for condoms fell, not only for Karex but for others like Durex and Trojan, also, as blockages hit social life.

Goh told Nikkei that demand for condoms fell when hotels and motels were closed because those locations provided privacy. the sex industry, has also been hit by the health crisis, with in-person sexual service providers facing a tough market.

Large-scale government condom distribution programs have also been affected by the pandemic.

“A large part [of condoms] is distributed by governments around the world, which have reduced [distribution] significantly during Covid-19, ”Gold told Nikkei. “For example, in the United Kingdom, the NHS [National Health Service] closed most non-essential clinics due to Covid, and sexual wellness clinics that distribute condoms have also been closed. “

Karex recorded an annual loss for its fiscal year 2020 ending in June – the company’s first since its IPO in November 2013. The company’s stock price on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange has fallen nearly 50% in 2021.

In recent weeks, condom sales have improved, Goh told Nikkei. This is consistent with data from other major condom vendors such as Durex and Trojan which reported improved sales as movement restrictions were lifted.

But Karex is not taking any chances – he is considering branching out into manufacturing medical gloves, which has seen explosive growth during the pandemic. Raw materials and similar technologies are used in the manufacture of condoms and gloves, Goh said, according to the Nikkei.

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