Unifi's Repreve plant.

Led by a strong performance from its flagship Repreve brand of eco-friendly yarns made from recycled materials and other value-added products, Unifi Inc. posted gains in operating income, volume of goods sold and adjusted earnings for the second quarter ended Dec. 25, while net sales dipped slightly.

Operating income increased 4 percent to $9 million for the second quarter from $8.6 million a year earlier. Net sales were $155.2 million for the second quarter compared to $156.3 million for the year-ago period.

Unifi, based in Greensboro, N.C., said strong premium value-added performance in Asia and Brazil mostly offset weaker sales in the domestic market.

Volume, measured by pounds sold, increased by more than 10 percent for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 2017 compared to the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 2016, driven by the strength of the international premium value-added portfolio.

“We are pleased with another quarter of solid results, as strong performance internationally counterbalanced headwinds in the domestic market, driven by weak retail sales and elevated inventory levels,” said Tom Caudle, president of Unifi. “In the short term, we expect margin pressure in the International Segment due to increased import tariffs on raw materials for our Brazilian operations, and we expect domestic market conditions to remain difficult. As a result, we now expect fiscal 2017 results to be broadly consistent with fiscal 2016.”

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization was inched up $14.5 million in the period from $14.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

For the six months, net sales were $315.1 million compared to $318.5 million for the six months ended Dec. 25, 2015. Operating income grew 18 percent year-over-year to $21.6 million from $18.3 million.

Net income was $14 million for the first half of fiscal 2017, compared to $14.5 million for the first half of fiscal 2016.

“As we look forward, we continue to see attractive international growth opportunities,” Caudle said. “We also believe that our collection of technologically advanced assets in the U.S. positions our domestic business to thrive over the mid-term, as our customers seek a speed-to-market advantage that imports cannot offer. Lastly, we continue to invest in product innovation and brand relationships to expand our growing PVA and Repreve portfolio.”

Unifi’s yarns are found in the products of major brands in the apparel, hosiery, automotive, home furnishings and industrial sectors.

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