Over the past 18 months, business for some spinners has been a hit-or-miss proposition. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies struggled mightily, resulting in lost orders and furloughed employees.
Around the middle of 2020, many companies began seeing a recovery in orders — some to the point where, by year’s end, revenues were not significantly out of line with previous years. A cross-section of the industry at the end of 2020 would reveal some spinners that struggled, some that maintained, some that flourished, and a few that excelled beyond any expectations. Among the latter was Unifi Inc., which has been featured often in this column for its sustainability endeavors.
In early August, Unifi, one of the world’s leading innovators in recycled and man-made yarns, released operating results for the fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended June 27, 2021. Sales increased an astounding 114 percent over the fourth quarter of 2020. Net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $184.4 million, compared to $86.1 million in the same period in 2020.
Eddie Ingle, CEO, Unifi, said: “Our fourth quarter fiscal 2021 results demonstrated the resilience of our global business model and the value that our innovative solutions bring to our global customer base. We delivered strong performance across all segments during the period, driven by our team’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers in what remains a dynamic business environment. I am proud of everything that we have collectively accomplished despite the challenges of the last several quarters.”
For the fiscal year, Unifi’s net sales were $667.6 million compared to $606.5 million in 2020. The increase was due primarily to the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking forward, executives said Unifi expects demand levels and trends across the business to remain healthy during fiscal 2022.
Textile Sales And Revenue Expected To Continue Growth
Unifi and other spinners also have hope for even great improvement in sales and revenue in the near future. The global textile market — cotton, jute, silk, man-mades and wool — is expected to grow from $594.61 billion in 2020 to $654.57 billion by the end of 2021 — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1 percent. This is according to a research report, “Textile Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030.”
The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. By 2025, the report maintains, the market is expected to reach $821.87 billion, a CAGR of 6 percent.
Consumer Confidence Holds Steady
One harbinger of growth in consumer confidence in the economy, and that remains at a high level, according to the Conference Board, publishers if The Consumer Confidence Index.® Consumer confidence in July remained at its highest level since February 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting economic growth in Q3 is off to a strong start. Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook didn’t waver, and they continued to expect that business conditions, jobs, and personal financial prospects will improve. Short-term inflation expectations eased slightly but remained elevated. Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months. Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.”
Textile Leaders Laud Senate Passage Of Infrastructure Bill
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) issued a statement August 10 welcoming Senate passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We commend the Senate for passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide critical resources for our nation’s aging infrastructure and at the same time help incentivize the reshoring of personal protective equipment (PPE) production, an important priority of the U.S. textile industry,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.
NCTO worked with congressional allies to include a version of the Make PPE in America Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), in the infrastructure legislative package. The bill ensures all PPE purchased by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are Berry Amendment-compliant; guarantees long-term contracts (a minimum of two years) to U.S. manufacturers; and creates a tiered preference for PPE made in the Western Hemisphere by our free trade partners using U.S. components, after domestic manufacturing capacity has been maximized.
The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year, as NCTO members retooled production chains in response to the nation’s needs. We will continue to urge the government to purchase Berry-compliant products containing 100 percent domestic content for PPE to help bolster the full U.S. production chain in the future.”