KUALA LUMPUR: Hartalega Holdings Bhd is aiming to complete 10 per cent of total projects focused on sustainability in the current financial year 2024 (FY2024) to amplify its research and development (R&D) capabilities.
In its annual report 2023, the glove maker said plans are already underway to grow its R&D team in the fiscal year to bring new ideas to develop an even more diverse product portfolio.
“We will also be constructing a new R&D production line facility for the purpose of testing new products and technology in a mass production environment,” it said, adding that it had expanded its full-time R&D team to 69 personnel during the year.
Hartalega said in the last fiscal year, the company invested RM9.04 million into various R&D initiatives.
“We have successfully attained 18 per cent completion of our innovation projects on sustainability, surpassing our goal of completing five per cent in FY2023.
“This included reducing the number of resources required in the production process and improving the biodegradability of our products,” it noted.
Hartalega is confident that in spite of a difficult financial year, its longer-term prospects for business and the sector remain strong.
“No doubt the glove industry will continue to experience post-pandemic after-effects as it streamlines under the weight of industry headwinds in the near to mid-term, while market supply-demand adjustments take place.
“Various external factors such as the geopolitical climate, industry expansion discipline and potential new disease and pandemic cycles, among others, will influence the adjustments in the time ahead,” it said.
Amid this environment, the group views that fluctuating prices, rising operating costs and intense competition from global manufacturers are the primary challenges moving forward.