Lifted by its premium value-added products, including the flagship Repreve recycled yarn offering, Unifi Inc. reported a 13 percent increase in net income in the first quarter ended Sept. 27 to $8 million, or 45 cents a share, $7.1 million, or 39 cents a share, for the prior-year first quarter.
Net sales were down 8 percent to $162.2 million for the first quarter compared to $175.5 million for the prior-year quarter, primarily due to the significant devaluation of the Brazilian Real and pricing declines due to lower raw material costs. Unifi increased operating income by more than $2 million over the prior-year comparable quarter due to the strong performance of its regional texturing business and premier value-added products, as well as margin improvement for its subsidiary in China. In addition, the company had an increase in volume for its polyester segment.
“We continue to see improvements in the areas of our business that we are supporting through strategic capital expenditures,” said Roger Berrier, president and chief operating officer of Unifi, based in Greensboro, N.C. “The company is supporting the growth of its premier value-added products with several capital investments, including the expansion of our existing Repreve Recycling Center and the construction of a plastic bottle processing plant scheduled to start-up in May 2016. We will also explore opportunities to meet increased demand in the NAFTA and CAFTA regions over the next 18 months. The region continues to grow at an average annual rate of approximately five percent and presents opportunities for us to grow our texturing operations.”
Gross profit in the quarter improved to $21 million, or 12.9 percent of net sales, from $20.5 million, or 11.6 percent of net sales, for the prior-year quarter.
Bill Jasper, chairman and chief executive officer of Unifi, said, “Our commitment to mix enrichment, along with an ongoing focus on driving operational excellence throughout the organization, will help achieve further improvements in our domestic and international businesses over the next several quarters. We are committed to further expanding the global availability of our premier value-added products, profitably growing our business and driving improvement in shareholder value.”
In addition to its Repreve family of eco-friendly yarns made from recycled materials, key Unifi brands include Sorbtek, Reflexx, aio- all-in-one performance yarns, Satura, Augusta and Microvista. Unifi’s yarns are found in the products of major brands in the apparel, hosiery, automotive, home furnishings and industrial markets.