Publicly listed cosmetics company PT Martina Berto, part of Martha Tilaar Group, has shifted its business focus to healthcare products as demand for beauty products dwindles amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The company has begun to produce in-demand health products during the pandemic, including hand sanitizer, hand gel and disinfectant, as well as bottled herbal drinks.
“There was a crisis in obtaining hand sanitizer, that is where the idea came from: why not produce it ourselves?” PT Martina Berto vice chairwoman Wulan Tilaar said during a webinar on Thursday.
“Turns out this is the right strategy in order for us to survive this pandemic period.”
The cosmetics company, whose products include PAC and Belia, has also seen the revenue for its red ginger product, an ingredient commonly found in jamu (traditional herbal drink), increase by up to 50 percent, Wulan said.
The company’s move to shift to healthcare products is part of its so-called “survival program” amid the pandemic, as it has been forced to temporarily close its outlets and spas due to the social-distancing protocols to contain COVID-19.
To offset the losses during the pandemic, the company also currently offers a spa home-care service, while strengthening its digital presence through online stores and beauty tutorials.
Furthermore, Martina Berto also runs a reseller program to incentivize its employees to sell the company’s products while working from home.
Martina Berto suffered Rp 24.2 billion (US$1.7 million) in losses in the first quarter this year, compared with the profits of Rp 854.9 million it reaped in the same period last year.
Martina Berto is one of many companies switching gear to producing highly sought-after items during the pandemic.
Textile companies such as publicly listed PT Pan Brothers and PT Sri Rejeki Isman (Sritex) have switched some of their production lines to making masks and coveralls.
Pan Brothers agreed to produce 20 million washable masks and 100,000 jumpsuits by April, as ordered by the government and several retailers.
Meanwhile, PT Sritex has been producing coveralls for medical workers since late January and began to deliver the products in the first week of February, the company’s spokesperson Joy Citra Dewi previously said.
“We use a specified waterproof and anti-microbial material that we’ve developed for the PPE,” Joy told The Jakarta Post in a written statement in March.
Meanwhile, state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) announced it would mass-produce a ventilator prototype to meet the government’s need for such specialized health equipment in hospitals across the country during the pandemic.
Martina Berto’s shares, traded under the code MBTO, have also seen an upward trend since mid-May. Between May 11 and June 5, the share price increased by 22.22 percent to Rp 66 per share. However, over the year the company’s shares have lost 35.92 percent of their value and closed 1.49 percent lower on Friday. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), on the other hand, rallied by 0.63 percent on the same day.Artikel Asli