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Unifi Sees Gains in Joint Ventures, Adds to Board

Yarn producer Unifi projected profitability in the near term for its China joint venture, and also said it would reap up to $15 million from divesting a South Africa joint venture.

Speaking to analysts at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual Consumer Conference, Unifi coo and cfo Bill Lowe also said the company is pleased with the increasing orders for its performance products, which tend to yield better margins.

The China venture is aimed at selling yarn domestically within that country, and Lowe said Unifi is "beginning to penetrate very large customers" there. He said the company projects break-even before the end of 2007, noting that "losses have been coming down each month."

Unifi has exercised a put option in its South Africa joint venture, Unifi-SANS S.A., from which action it projects a cash flow of $13 million to $15 million in first quarter of 2008.

Unifi reported $692 million in 2006 (calendar year) sales; 17% of its sales volume comes from the home furnishings sector.

In other news, Unifi has appointed Stephen Wener of Franklin Lakes, N.J. to the board of directors.

Wener served as president and ceo of Dillon Yarn Corporation since 1980. The Dillon polyester and nylon texturing operations were purchased by Unifi on Jan. 1, 2007.

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