scorecardCondom giant prepares for a sales boom as global pandemic restrictions ease
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Condom giant prepares for a sales boom as global pandemic restrictions ease

Mary Hanbury   

Condom giant prepares for a sales boom as global pandemic restrictions ease
Retail1 min read
Contraceptive giant Karex is expecting a sales boom.    Shutterstock
  • The world's largest condom producer is preparing for a sales boom as the world reopens.
  • Malaysian giant Karex, which supplies well-known brand Durex, saw sales plummet in the pandemic.

The world's largest producer of condoms is anticipating a sales boom as the world reopens from pandemic lockdowns.

Malaysian contraceptive giant Karex said Monday – while announcing second-quarter earnings – that as vaccination rates ramp up across the world and countries begin to adapt to a new normal, it is expecting demand for its sexual health products, specifically condoms and lubricants, to increase.

Karex, which produces around 5.5 billion condoms a year and supplies well-known brands such as Durex and ONE Condoms, saw its sales battered by the pandemic. CEO Goh Miah Kiat told media outlet Nikkei Asia in January that sales of these products fell by 40% over the past two years.

The slump came as a shock to Goh who anticipated a boom in condom sales in the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, and even warned of global shortages at that time.

Discussing the company's two-year sales slump with Nikkei Asia in January, Goh said that demand for the products had fallen as hotels and motels closed during the pandemic, and government condom distribution programs came to a halt.

"A large portion [of condoms] is distributed by governments around the world, which have reduced [distribution] significantly during COVID-19," Goh told Nikkei, Insider previously reported. "For instance, in the United Kingdom, the NHS [National Health Service] shut down most nonessential clinics because of COVID, and sexual wellness clinics which hand out condoms were also closed."

Goh said that condom sales had already improved in the early part of this year. UK consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, which owns the Durex brand, said this month that it has seen strong sales growth in its intimate products as restrictions eased.

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