Revenues from manufacturing activities declined by 2.8 percent to $3,930 million in the first nine months of this year for the world's largest shoe producer. The volume of shoes it made by Yue Yuen Industrial during the period dropped by 0.9 percent to 236.5 million pairs and their average selling price fell by 1.9 percent to $16.62 per pair.

Specifically, sales of athletic footwear declined by 0.4 percent to $3,089 million. An even higher 11.6 percent decrease was recorded in sales of casual and outdoor shoes, down to $582.3 million. Sports sandals were down by 1.6 percent to $58.6 million, and revenues from the manufacturing of soles and other components and products fell by 18.9 percent to $382.4 million.

The gross margin on these operations eased down by 1.4 percentage points to 19.3 percent due to unfavorable fluctuations in clients' orders, and an unfavorable product mix. It reached a level of 20.5 percent including revenues from the group's apparel wholesale activities, which instead jumped by 71.9 percent to $292.2 million during the nine-month period.

Meanwhile, the group's retail subsidiary, Pou Sheng, saw its revenues rise by 25.4 percent to $2,547 million. Yue Yuen attributed the spurt to the growth momentum in the Chinese sportswear retail market. Pou Sheng's strong performance helped the group to book a 4.8 percent increase in gross profit to $1,787 million for the nine-month period, equal to 24.99 percent of total revenues.

Nevertheless, higher selling and distribution expenses, higher finance costs and extraordinary losses of $31.6 million caused the profit attributable to Yue Yuen's shareholders to fall by 48.3 percent to $204.6 million.