Uratex bets foam business on PH car-making revival

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2017 12:45 PM

MANILA – Uratex, the country’s largest foam manufacturer, hopes the government’s plan to revive the auto industry will help drive demand for its products, its founder said Wednesday.

Industry, which includes car seats, accounts for 70 percent of demand while consumers shopping for beds make up 30 percent, Uratex president Natividad Cheng said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s The Boss.

“Pag lumakas yung automotive, lalakas din negosyo natin,” Cheng said.

(If automotive booms, so will our business.)

Uratex’s foams are also used in motorcycle seats, furniture and shoes.

The company, which will mark its 50th anniversary next year, will invest P1 billion to build new plants in the Visayas and Mindanao in the coming years, Cheng said.

Uratex co-founder and president Natividad Cheng speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss

While demand in the regions has not peaked, Uratex is investing ahead, with factories in Butuan and Bacolod set to open next year and another one under construction in General Santos City, Cheng said.

“Ang gusto naming nakahanda na kami sa VisMin area,” she said.

(We want to be ready in the Visayas-Mindanao area.)

The weak peso and higher chemical costs are putting pressure on margins as the company imports raw materials, Cheng said. Uratex is coping by increasing productivity, she said.