SINGAPORE (May 4): Riverstone Holdings, the Malaysia-based manufacturer of specialised cleanroom and healthcare gloves, reported a 23.7% rise in 1Q17 earnings to RM33.6 million ($10.8 million) from a year ago.

The increase was led by higher demand for products and additional 1 billion glove pieces to production capacity from Phase 3 expansion.

1Q17 revenue rose 38.9% to $205.7 million, driven in particular by an uptick in demand for its premium healthcare and cleanroom gloves.

But with the increase in total revenue, the cost of sales had increased to RM153.9 million in 1Q17. Correspondingly, gross profit for the period amounted to RM51.8 million, representing a 20.1% increase from a year ago.

Gross profit margin fell to 25.2% from 29.1% due to higher production costs, especially from raw material.

As at end March, its balance sheet remains robust with net cash position of RM122.7 million.

Wong Teek Son, Executive Chairman and CEO, says, “Our concentrated efforts to actively tap new markets for our cleanroom gloves have borne fruit as we gained traction among the non-HDD sectors – namely the mobile, tablet, and LCD manufacturing industries.

Looking ahead, the group says it is on track for the fourth phase of its expansion plan which will bring total production capacity to 7.2 billion pieces per annum by the end of 2017.

Shares of Riverstone closed at 88 cents on Thursday before the announcement.