NEW YORK — Unifi Inc.’s decision to close some of its plants and lay off workers led to hefty charges that drove the company $50 million into the red in its third quarter.
The loss, which included $20.8 million in restructuring charges and $38.7 million in asset write-downs, compared with net income of $1.1 million a year earlier. Loss per diluted share of 96 cents compared with a 2 cent-a-share profit a year earlier. Sales for the quarter ended March 28 fell 13.1 percent to $190.9 million.
Last month, the Greensboro, N.C.-based fiber firm kicked off a round of layoffs, cutting its headcount by 400 and moving to close three plants in North Carolina, England and Ireland. The cuts, when complete, will reduce the number of employees at the firm to about 3,700.
On a conference call with analysts, chairman and chief executive Brian Parke said Unifi was rethinking its decision to enter China on its own. Last week, the company said it had broken off talks with Guangdong Kaiping Polyester Enterprises Group about a polyester joint venture.
“When we announced the cessation of the discussions with Kaiping, a lot of interest was shown by a number of different people, from greenfield opportunities to joint ventures to many different options,” said Parke, who added that he was headed back to China this morning to continue talks.
He acknowledged that Unifi still believed that building its own plant would be the fastest way to establish operations in China, which he said he expects to become a $500 million market for the company.
Parke added that he wanted to move quickly into China and said, “We’re not interested in spending another 18 months talking to people about different possibilities.”
Analysts peppered Parke with questions to get him to commit to a timetable for the company to make its decision on how to enter China. Parke declined to be specific, but said it was likely that the firm would be able to spell out its plans by the time it reports fourth-quarter results in July.