Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings had a 2.0 percent increase in sales to $5,016.9 million for the full year ended last Sept. 30, but the Chinese company's net income fell by 6.0 percent to $462 million. Europe was the only region where turnover declined, down by 3.6 percent to $1,117.9 million. However, operating income there jumped by 31 percent to $152.2 million.

Sales in the U.S. ticked up by 0.8 percent to $1,534.1 million, with a 37 percent surge in operating income to $208.8 million. Revenues in Asia rose by 5.3 percent to $1,976.7 million. South America saw a 6.4 percent increase to $174.0 million, Canada went up by 10.6 percent to $81.5 million, and ?other areas? climbed by 7.0 percent to $132.7 million. Sales in China increased by only 12.6 percent to $1,422.0 million for the year, after 53 percent growth in 2008.

The world's largest shoe manufacturer's production was down for the year, with a 3.5 percent decrease to 246.2 million pairs as vendors placed smaller orders. Sales of athletic shoes fell by 2.6 percent to $2,709.7 million, while soles and components dropped by 17.0 percent to $390.0 million. However, growth was seen in casual/outdoor footwear, up by 9.9 percent to $781.8 million; sport sandals, up by 22 percent to $71.8 million; and shoes and apparel sold through the company's own stores, up by 19.6 percent to $1,015.5 million.

For the first quarter ended last Dec. 31, sales were down by 3.4 percent to $1,312.8 million. Yue Yuen expects the order flow from brand-name customers to be stable going on into the 2010 fiscal year, and forecasts continued strong consumer demand for athletic and casual shoes. It is looking to the World Cup in June to boost the athletic shoes and apparel categories.

Pressure is on the company as commodity prices and minimum wages in Asia continue growing, and Yue Yen is also concerned about the appreciation of the yuan, which has risen by 21 percent against the U.S. dollar since July 2005. If that continues, it could adversely affect export-related production in China.