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Quaker Fabric still seeks turnaround

Fall River,Mass.– Woven upholstery and jacquard fabric supplier Quaker Fabric is eagerly pursuing a restructuring of its business through the sale of excess assets, stepped-up importing, and new additions to its line, the company said during its fiscal 2007 first-quarter earnings call today.

Quaker reported quarterly net sales of $32.6 million, down 29.6% from year-ago sales of $46.3 million, and a net loss of $5.1 million compared to a net loss of $4.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Excluding after-tax restructuring charges, the net loss for the most recent quarter was $4.8 million.

“We still have a lot of work to do to get the company back to profitability,” explained Larry Liebenow, president and ceo. “So our primary focus during the balance of this year will be on increasing our overall sales, striking the right balance between domestic production and global sourcing, achieving costs consistent with sales, and selling off excess assets.”

Quaker is still under contract to sell its 127,000 square-foot corporate headquarters here for $4.7 million, with the closing scheduled for April 30. And it is “still aggressively marketing” its three other idle manufacturing plants as well as about $2.5 million worth of excess machinery and equipment.

Quaker is optimistic about importing. Liebenow noted that its Chinese strategic partner may become an exclusive supplier to Quaker. He added that Quaker saw “excellent volume-oriented placements achieved at last moth’s High Point market… and these placements confirm that we have clearly established both quality and design advantages over many other imported Chinese programs.”

An “important achievement” Quaker made during its first quarter was gaining placement for its new outdoor products, including “a breakthrough introduction” with a major upscale furniture manufacturer and additional placements with major retail chains for these products, he said.

Environmentally-friendly products have become another focus going forward for Quaker, which is now offering a broad program of such goods.

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