- A Polish glove-maker’s stock has risen 6,700% this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a boom in its sales.
- Mercator Medical crossed a 7 billion zloty ($1.8 billion) market valuation for the first time after its stock surged 13% on Tuesday, Bloomberg first reported.
- Mercator’s third-quarter net income leapt 70% to about 356 million zloty ($92 million) compared to just 1.3 million zloty ($337,922) a year ago.
- Poland has so far reported about 142,000 coronavirus cases and 3,217 fatalities.
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Shares in a little-known Polish company that makes disposable medical devices and personal protective equipment have surged 6,700% this year, making it by far the best performer on Warsaw’s WIG blue-chip index.
Mercator Medical’s shares surged over 30 times in value in the earlier half of the year, when the initial effects of the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, boosting its sales.
As new infections in the country have crossed the peak levels of the first wave, Mercator’s market value has doubled, making it one of the 20 most valuable stocks in the 318-strong WIG index.
A 13% jump in its stock on Tuesday, first reported by Bloomberg, sent its market value above 7 billion zloty ($1.8 billion) for the first time.
Mercator’s third-quarter net income jumped 70% to about 356 million zloty ($92 million), compared with just 1.3 million zloty ($337,922) a year ago, according to Bloomberg.
The glove-maker’s sales jumped over four-fold year-on-year.
Poland has one of the lower infection and fatality rates among larger European economies, having so far reported about 142,000 coronavirus cases and 3,217 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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In 2006, the Polish company bought its first factory to manufacture latex gloves in Thailand. After tripling its capacity, that factory now holds more value than Commerzbank-owned mBank, Poland’s fourth-largest lender.
Shares in mBank dropped about 6% on Tuesday after the Warsaw stock exchange decided to exclude the bank’s stock from its index of the 20 biggest companies, making way for e-commerce platform Allegro from October 15.
The rise in demand for protective equipment could make it difficult for manufacturers to keep up the pace of production.
Top Glove Corporation in Malaysia, the largest glove manufacturer in the world, was forced to ramp up production at its 44 factories earlier this year. Combined, the factories produced 200 million natural and synthetic rubber gloves each day.
But even that was not enough, as over 200 countries began reporting cases of coronavirus. Over a million people have died and nearly 40 million have been infected with the virus so far this year, based on Johns Hopkins data.
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