State-owned Hindustan Latex Limited plans to set up low cost hospitals, particularly in northern India, to promote good quality reproductive health services.

Hindustan Latex and HLFPPT, a non-profit organisation promoted by the company, have decided to join hands to set up hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttaranchal under the Lifespring Hospital network.

The first such hospital has already been opened in Maula Ali, Hyderabad.

"The sole aim of these hospitals is to provide good quality reproductive health services to poor people at affordable prices. We would be charging just Rs.1,500 for a three-day stay in the hospital for delivery," M. Ayyappan, chairman and managing director of the company, told reporters here Thursday.

Headquartered here, Hindustan Latex is the largest condom manufacturer in the country. While its turnover in the last fiscal grew by 20 percent and touched Rs.1.95 billion, profits reached Rs 201.1 million.

It has announced huge expansion programmes and is expecting to reach a turnover of reach Rs.10 billion by 2010.

"To achieve the Rs.10 billion turnover we have already launched an elaborate service networking and are also entering the women's health care division in a big way. We are now embarking on a Rs.250 million expansion plans to augment our factory here. This would be ready in 18 months," said Ayyappan.

Hindustan Latex, which has 11 variants of the Moods male contraceptive, last week launched a new male condom that glows in the dark and has named it Moods Glow.

Its latest product is Passion Rings for Women, a female condom.

"Another major initiative is the manufacture of anti retro viral drugs and we expect to launch it by July next year. We have already obtained the trial license from the drug authorities," added Ayyappan.

To boost their marketing efforts, they have roped in Indian film icon Sridevi as their brand ambassador. Hindustan Latex is rated among the top 10 public sector undertakings in the country.