The SARS outbreak and the resulting ban on recruitment has forced Mainland Headwear Holdings Ltd to delay its expansion plans, redesign the flow of some of its production lines, and enter new markets.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, deputy chairman Pauline Ngan said the introduction of a new production line was being pushed back to after August.

"We have orders worth millions of US dollars to fulfil until August, but we have managed to cope with the situation by redesigning some production procedures to raise efficiency," she told the paper.

Buyers have also shifted some orders to South Korea and the Philippines because of because of SARS fears.

In response, Mainland Headwear has started marketing golf and winter caps to new customers in the United States.