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Nikkei Markets

Hartalega's 4Q net profit jumps, helped by foreign exchange gains

Raises dividend payout amid robust sales, upbeat on growth prospects

One of Hartalega's fully-automated plants

KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Malaysian glove maker Hartalega Holdings said Tuesday its net profit surged 30% in the fiscal fourth quarter from a year earlier thanks to higher sales and net foreign exchange gain.

Net profit for the three months ended March 31 was 116.65 million ringgit ($29.48 million) compared with 89.43 million ringgit over the same period last year, Hartalega said in an exchange filing. Quarterly revenue rose 17% year-on-year to 616.84 million ringgit from 527 million ringgit.

"Prospects are certainly bright for Hartalega," said Managing Director Kuan Mun Leong. "Driven by our strategic expansion plans and product innovation, we are confident we will be able to propel the group forward in the coming year."

Hartalega, one of the world's largest glove makers, has commissioned all 12 production lines in its fourth plant within its so-called Next Generation Integrated Glove Manufacturing Complex. The fifth plant is expected to begin commissioning in July and the company will start construction of the sixth plant.

When the NGC project is completed, the 2.26 billion ringgit project covering six new plants are expected to lift the company's annual capacity to 42 billion pieces. Hartalega has also unveiled plans to build an additional seventh plant that will focus on small orders and specialty products.

"We are well on track to meet growing global demand," Kuan said.

For the full year, net profit surged 55% to 439.40 million ringgit from 283.00 million ringgit, while 12-month revenue climbed 32% to 2.41 billion ringgit against 1.82 billion ringgit in the previous financial year.

Hartalega also declared the third interim dividend of 0.02 ringgit per share payable on June 27 with entitlement date fixed on June 12, lifting total dividends proposed for the year to 0.07 ringgit compared to 0.04 ringgit per share in the past fiscal year.

Shares of Hartalega ended Tuesday unchanged at 6.00 ringgit apiece, while the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI closed 0.1% lower.

--Jason Ng

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