VIENNA—Semperit A.G. will go ahead with plans to sell its rubber gloves production business, Sempermed, despite a boost in segment sales and profits in the first half of 2020.
In its results statement on Aug. 14, Semperit said it considered the positive effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the business to be of "limited sustainability."
Therefore, the strategic decision to separate the unit and focus on the industrial rubber business in the future is still valid. The separation, however, will be delayed, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rising demand.
Sempermed lifted Semperit's earnings and profitability significantly during the first half of 2020, despite declines in the Austrian group's industrial sector.
Group earnings (EBITDA) increased 47.2 percent year-on-year to $68.7 million, helped by growing demand in the medical segment. Earnings margin was up from 9 percent to 13.7 percent during the first six months of the year.
Semperit delayed a decision to separate its medical business in order to focus on gloves supply security in Austria in June.
Earlier this year, the Austrian group had disclosed plans to divest its Sempermed gloves making unit as part of a strategy to focus on the industrial segment.
With two gloves production facilities in Wimpassing, Austria, and Kamunting, Malaysia, Sempermed registered sales of $105 million and earnings of $27.4 million in the first half of 2020.
In addition, the unit has a packaging production plant in Sopron, Hungary, and a gloves mold manufacturing site in Nilai, Malaysia.