VIENNA—Sempermed is proving too valuable to sell, at least for another nine months.
Semperit A.G. Holding is delaying the planned divestment of its Sempermed gloves business for at least another nine months on the back of "extremely positive" contributions from the unit to the Austrian group's earnings (EBITDA).
In an ad-hoc release on Sept. 25, the Vienna-based rubber goods manufacturer revised up its outlook for full year earnings to $192 million to $233 million, considerably higher than last year's $79 million.
In addition to the significant contribution by Sempermed, the group said the latest upward revision reflected a "slight recovery" in its industrial sector, which includes the production of hoses, conveyor belts, seals and rubber sheeting.
Group EBIT is estimated to come in at $227-268 million, up from a forecast of $128-186.5 million earlier in July.
Semperit maintained that the earnings forecast will depend on the further development of the price level for medical protective gloves and the sufficient availability of raw materials for their production.
The Austrian group confirmed that its strategic decision made in January to divest Sempermed and focus on industrial rubber products was still valid.
However, the group said it would continue to run the medical division for at least nine more months before "actively working on the decided separation."
In August, Semperit reported a 47.2 percent year-on-year growth in half-year earnings to $67 million, helped by a COVID-induced boom in demand for medical gloves.
First half revenue in the Sempermed segment rose 15 percent to $102.6 million, due both to higher volumes and increased prices. Segment earnings stood at $26.8 million in the first half.
The business unit has two gloves production facilities in Wimpassing, Austria, and Kamunting in Malaysia, a packaging production plant in Sopron, Hungary and a gloves mold manufacturing site in Nilai, Malaysia.