Unifi Records Loss, Removes Executive, Shuts Plant

Fiscal 2007 Loss of $113 Million

On Aug. 1, Polyester fiber and yarn producer Unifi removed Brian Parke as chairman, president and ceo, effective immediately, and the following day announced it will close its Kinston yarn plant, where about 260 Unifi employees work.

Stepping in as the new chairman is Stephen Wener, who will also serve as acting ceo. Wener, president and ceo of Dillon Yarn since 1980, came to Unifi in the January acquisition of Dillon. He was appointed a director of the board in May.

Unifi noted that Parke "has agreed to continue to serve as the vice chairman of the company's Chinese joint venture, Yihua Unifi Fibre Industry Company Limited."

Unifi, aiming for a turnaround, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $72.3 million, or $1.19 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.4 million, or $0.10 per share, for the prior year June quarter.

For the 2007 fiscal year, Unifi recorded a net loss of $113.1 million, or $2.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $14.4 million, or $0.28 per share, for the 2006 fiscal year.

"Fiscal 2007 presented many challenges for us, primarily in the area of ever increasing and fluctuating raw material prices, said William Lowe, vp, coo and cfo, Unifi."Nevertheless, we successfully integrated our most recent acquisition in Dillon, South Carolina, increased our cash position, consummated several asset sales, and have positioned the company to make its next step toward creating shareholder value by closing our Kinston facility and re-sourcing a certain quantity of our commodity partially oriented yarn vs. manufacturing it at that facility. This will reduce our operating costs and provide flexibility in our texturing operations in the future."

The partially oriented yarn (POY) product formerly made in Kinston will be produced at the Yadkinville, N.C., plant, the company said.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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