Repreve multifilament polyester yarn.

Unifi Inc.’s fiscal year is off to a strong start.

The North Carolina-based yarn manufacturer posted net sales of $164.2 million for its first fiscal quarter, and increase of 2.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Unifi also tallied net income of $9 million for the quarter, a slight decrease from $9.4 million a year ago.

Kevin Hall, Unifi’s new ceo, said the company “grew domestic and international sales despite continued market pressures” during the quarter, and he cited the increased popularity of “premium value-added” products, like its recycled yarn Repreve.

“Overall, pva products now account for more than 40 percent of our consolidated sales, driving another strong quarter, with contributions from our Repreve platform of products,” Hall said. “We remain focused on recycling and innovation to fuel our growth, and are proud to maintain the portfolio diversity we believe is necessary to succeed over the long-term.”

Hall joined Unifi in May from Geneva Watch Group, where he also served as ceo. The position was open for more than a year after Unifi’s former ceo William Jasper suddenly retired and moved to a consulting role.

This was in the wake of a lawsuit filed in local North Carolina court by a Unifi sales manager accusing Jasper and some other executives of a scheme involving phony expense reports that covered tens of thousands of dollars in personal purchases. The case was subsequently settled out of court.

Unifi’s chief financial officer left around the same time that Hall took over and last month the company named Jeffrey Ackerman to the role.

Hall said with a new team in place, he expects Unifi “to become the global textile industry leader in recycling and an innovation partner of choice.”

Looking ahead to the full fiscal year, Unifi expects revenue to grow in the low-single-digit range and operating income to grow in the mid-single-digit range after capital expenditures of around $35 million.

Last year, the company saw net sales rise 0.6 percent to $674.3 million, while net income fell 4.3 percent to $32.9 million.

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