Soap maker Mary & Majestic Inc (美琪生技) yesterday said that it will spend NT$700 million (US$23.12 million) to build a new factory in Xinwu Township (新屋鄉), Taoyuan County, in April, aiming to increase its annual revenue to between NT$1 billion and NT$1.5 billion from the current NT$500 million in the next five years.
The construction of the new factory will be completed by the end of the first quarter next year, company general manager Alfred Woo (吳英偉) told reporters yesterday.
The company expects the government will finish its inspection for PIC/S GMP (Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme, or the guide to Good Manufacturing Practice for products) certificate by September next year to allow the plant to start operating, he said.
The New Taipei City-based (新北市) company needs a factory in line with PIC/S GMP standards for making medicated soaps, which would allow the company to attract more orders on a contract basis, Woo said.
With the new factory, the company also plans to establish a new brand and enter the cosmetic products segment, he added.
Currently, contract orders account for about 50 percent of the company’s annual revenue, Woo said.
Mary & Majestic accounts for between 3 percent and 5 percent of the soap market in Taiwan, which is led by global brands Dove and Lux.
However, in terms of medicated soap, the 71-year-old firm has the largest market share in Taiwan, trailed by Chunghwa Biomedical Technology Co (中化生醫), which sells its products under the brand “GREEN” (綠的).
The company has tapped the potential market in China in recent years, with sales of between NT$20 million and NT$30 million a year.
Woo said that the company sells its products to China via distributors and faces a 10 percent import tariff there.
“The government should expedite its talks with China to lower the tariff,” Woo said, adding that Unilever PLC ships its soap products to Taiwan tariff-free from its Chinese factories.
Woo made the remarks after Mary & Majestic yesterday donated 30,000 bottles of anti-bacterial hand mousse worth NT$5 million to public elementary schools in New Taipei City.
Like flavored soap and baby soap, medicated soap is a kind of specialty soap that enjoys higher value, but with a small share of the market.
Mary & Majestic marketing manager Richard Tang (唐皓晃) said the medicated soap market remains stable in Taiwan, with alternative products offered by more manufacturers in recent years.
“There are loyal users of medicated soaps in Taiwan, mostly senior citizens working in the manufacturing industry or small auto shops. People also increase their use of the soap when there is any outbreak of infectious disease,” Tang said.