Ansell profit rises on pandemic-driven demand, expects strong annual earnings
Adds CEO comments, dividend
Aug 25 (Reuters) - Australia's Ansell Ltd ANN.AX on Monday posted higher annual profit, boosted by a surge in sales of personal protective equipment and healthcare products during the COVID-19 pandemic and said it expected to report higher earnings next year.
Consumer demand for medical protective gear has surged through the pandemic, with a manufacturers association in Malaysia - home to the world's largest medical glove maker Top Glove TPGC.KL - expecting global demand to continue rising.
Sales at its global healthcare unit, which comprises of protective and single use products such as surgical gloves, grew 13% on a reported basis for the full year ended June 30. The company said it expected an increased demand, particularly in single use protective products, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Shares of Ansell rose 3.7% to an all-time high of A$41.79 in early trade.
"A number of our products are being used in the fight against COVID-19, particularly our Exam and Single Use Gloves along with Chemical Protective Clothing," Ansell Chief Executive Officer Magnus Nicolin said in a statement.
The company also said it would continue to invest further to increase capacity given higher demand for its products.
The company paid a final dividend of 28.25 cents per share, up from 26 cents last year.
It expects fiscal 2021 earnings between 126 cents and 138 cents per share, the midpoint of which is more than 8% higher than what was reported for full-year 2020.
Adjusted profit for the year came in at $158.7 million, up from $111.7 million a year earlier.
(Reporting by Yajush Gupta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
((Yajush.Gupta@thomsonreuters.com; +91 88024 43398))
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