NEW YORK — Unifi Inc. significantly reduced the flow of red ink in the quarter and the year and is hoping to cut it further by providing polyester to Western companies operating in Asia.

Fourth-quarter net losses narrowed to $1.6 million, or 3 cents a share, from the year-ago deficit of $15.6 million, or 29 cents. Results for the most recent quarter include a pretax loss of $7.4 million, or 8 cents a share after taxes, from the sale and write-down of excess real estate. Excluding this loss, income for the quarter reached $3 million, or 5 cents a share.

Sales for period ended June 30 slid 0.4 percent to $256.5 million from $257.6 million a year ago. The just-ended quarter included an extra week compared with the year-ago period.

Chief executive officer Brian Parke noted in a statement: "Each of our businesses in Brazil, Ireland and England were profitable in the June quarter.

"We have made significant progress in upgrading our business systems to Web-based technology, allowing us to more effectively plan our entire global supply chain."

The Greensboro, N.C.-based textured yarns producer also entered agreements with Tuntex to help that firm’s Thailand manufacturing facility ramp up the quality and variety of its polyester filament yarns while using the Thai plant as a base for sourcing in Asia.

Mike Delaney, senior vice president, noted: "Asia represents the majority of global polyester textured yarn consumption. The agreements with Tuntex will establish an effective foothold in the market from which we can distribute high-quality textured polyester yarns, particularly to supply the needs of Western companies that have already shifted production to the region."

For the year, losses tapered slightly to $43.9 million, or 82 cents a share, from $44.7 million, or 83 cents, a year ago. Before a change in accounting standards, losses narrowed dramatically to $6.1 million, or 11 cents a share. The period also included a pretax loss of $1.7 million, or 2 cents a share, from the sale and write-down of property and equipment as well as a $33.8 million pretax benefit from Unifi’s manufacturing alliance with DuPont, which is currently in arbitration.

Sales were down 19.1 percent to $914.7 million from $1.13 billion a year ago.

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