RICHMOND, Australia—Ansell Ltd. is looking to invest between $95 million and $105 million over the next 12 months to expand production capacity and efficiency, as the COVID-19 pandemic drives demand.
The Australian producer of protective systems increased manufacturing capacity for chemical protective clothing products at its production facilities in Xiamen, China, and Colombo, Sri Lanka, by 40 percent following the pandemic.
"We are in the process of expanding capacity further at those plants," Ansell said in an Aug. 25 full-year financial report statement.
The company said it was localizing production in Brazil and Lithuania, but did not elaborate further.
Furthermore, Ansell is working to complete a $32 million expansion program at its plant in Lat Krabang, Thailand, which started in October 2019. The project will increase the facility's manufacturing capacity of single-use gloves by roughly 35 percent, Ansell said.
The company said the next wave of expenditures will focus on automation to drive efficiencies.
For the 2020 fiscal year, ended June 30, Ansell saw its results lifted by COVID-19, as demand was particularly high for exam/single use gloves.
The company recorded sales of $1.6 million, up 7.7 percent compared to the year before. EBIT was up 8.3 percent year-on-year at $219 million, driven by sales growth and favorable raw material costs.
Ansell's health care business, which manufactures products such as exam/single use gloves, grew 13.8 percent, posting sales of $895 million for the full year.
The business, Ansell said, entered the fiscal year with strong momentum, which was further accelerated due to coronavirus-related demand. Sales in the industrial unit came in at $719 million, registering a modest 1.3 percent growth, "despite severely impacted macro backdrop."
The increased demand for chemical protective clothing and gloves "more than offset" softness in products for mechanical applications, the company said.