Repreve multifilament polyester yarn.

Unifi Inc. had a mixed year, but it’s expecting efforts in domestic yarn manufacturing to pay off in years to come.

The North Carolina-based yarn manufacturer saw its net sales for the fiscal year ended June 25 grow to $647.3 million, a 0.6 percent bump over fiscal 2016, while net income fell 4.3 percent to $32.9 million.

For the fourth fiscal quarter results were similar. Net sales increased 4.5 percent to $171.3 million and net income fell 4.9 percent to $9.7 million.

Unifi attributed the sales growth in Asia and Brazil and noted that even though its debt position improved and operating expenses decreased, administrative expenses were higher because of investments “aimed at increasing top-line growth, specifically through strategic planning, talent acquisition and commercial expansion.”

“We are pleased that the strength of our international operations allowed us to overcome ongoing headwinds in the domestic retail and apparel markets,” chief executive officer Kevin Hall said.

In May the company brought on Hall, most recently a former executive of Geneva Watch Group, as its new ceo.

That position had been open for more than a year after former ceo William Jasper abruptly retired in April 2016 amid allegations by a former Unifi sale manager that some executives had been involved in a phony expense report scheme that covered tens of thousands of dollars in personal purchases. Despite retiring, Jasper was paid as a Unifi consultant for a year, earning the same base salary of $750,000 he had as ceo.

When Unifi tapped Hall, it also revealed that its chief financial officer Sean Goodman was leaving at the end of June. The company has yet to name a replacement.

Looking forward to fiscal 2018, Unifi expects to see more volume, as well as revenue and operating income growth in the single digits while spending about $35 million.

Hall pointed to its new recycled polyester yarn Repreve as a growth driver for the next year as it and other Unifi products “continue to gain acceptance and broader awareness.”

“While we enter fiscal 2018 with a somewhat soft domestic environment in the retail and apparel markets, our global performance remains quite strong,” Hall added.

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