Unifi to cut workers, plants

Facing continued import pressure and rising raw materials costs, yarn-maker Unifi Inc. said it will lay off about 10 percent of its work force and shutter some plants in the U.S. and abroad.

Looking to cut costs, Brian Parke, CEO, said Unifi will reduce its worldwide work force to 3,700 from 4,100.

Culling out excess capacity, Unifi said it will shut its Altamahaw, N.C., plant which produces textured polyester yarns, moving some production to a plant in Yadkinville, N.C. One of two plants in Letterkenny, Ireland, will be shut, and another in Manchester, England. About 25 headquarter staff in Greensboro, roughly 20 percent of the total, will be laid off.

Picking up the tab for the overhaul, Unifi said it recorded about $24 to $28 million in charges, about $15 to $18 million of the total during the current first quarter, and the balance during the second quarter. The layoffs and closings will cut operating costs by about $4 million a year, the company said.

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