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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): Comfort Gloves Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Jan 31, 2019 (4QFY19) almost doubled to RM9.39 million, from RM4.78 million a year ago, when the group distributed RM3.4 million in shares through the employees’ share scheme.

Earnings per share rose to 1.67 sen, from 0.86 sen previously, the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Comfort Gloves said its quarterly revenue grew 23% to RM130.55 million, from RM106.36 million a year earlier.

The group has recommended a final dividend of 1.5 sen per share.

For the entire FY19, the group’s net profit fell 22% to RM27.9 million, from RM35.9 million in FY18, due to a one-off logistic cost of RM5.4 million, higher taxation and deferred taxation expenses of RM7.5 million.

“Our emphasis on natural and synthetic premium speciality gloves will continue to provide the group opportunities for growth and improvement. However, it will not mitigate the group from volatility in raw materials or increased energy cost from subsidy rationalisation,” Comfort Gloves said with regards to its prospects.

The group said it will continue to emphasise research and development as the key method to expand market offerings and to grow sales.

“Prospects for the rubber glove manufacturing sector remain strong with increasing demand arising from switching trends towards nitrile glove. Nitrile glove now accounts for 61% of Malaysian rubber glove export.

“As overall demand for nitrile gloves increases, the market is seeing increased segmentation and differentiation leading to an increase demand for specialty gloves,” it said.

Comfort Gloves said through dedication to process rationalisation and improving operational agility, it is confident of capturing greater market share and strengthening margins.

“The group is confident that meeting customer expectations and continuous innovation will strengthen the group's position as the bespoke specialty glove manufacturer,” it said.

Comfort Gloves’ share price fell two sen or 2.41% to 81 sen today, giving it a market capitalisation of RM455.18 million.

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