Yarn maker Unifi has booked a mixed set of second-quarter results with soaring earnings but a fall in sales.

In the three months ended 29 December, net income reached US$6.4m from $2.4m a year earlier. The increase reflects gains from improved margins, lower net interest expense and higher earnings from the firm's equity affiliates.

Sales dropped 6.7% to $11.5m from $160.6m in the comparable period last year. This was offset by improved operating margins and earnings from equity affiliates.

Unifi blamed the drop on the timing of the holiday shutdown, which adversely affected domestic sales activity, a decline in sales volumes for the company's foreign subsidiaries, reductions in lower margin business and currency translation effects of the weakened Brazilian Real.

"We are encouraged with the continued performance of our domestic business, focusing on products that are profitable, defensible and compliant within the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and we have experienced growth in our domestic operations from our premier value-added products," said president and COO Roger Berrier.

"Although operating conditions remain challenging in Brazil and China, we remain encouraged by the long-term sales opportunities that we anticipate from the development work that we are currently engaged in."