Arthur Engel is stepping down as the CEO and president of Swedish clothing company Björn Borg AB after five years in the post.

Commenting on his departure Engel said: "Now it is time for me to move on at a point which I feel is right for me and at the stage the company is in." He will, however, remain as CEO while the company looks for a replacement.

Chairman Fredrik Lövstedt added: "Arthur Engel has contributed with great determination and drive to strengthening Björn Borg's position as an international leader in fashion underwear and guided the group through a period of tough market conditions.

"During this time the group has expanded to include our own operations in England and Finland, a broadened product range and growing e-commerce operations."

The news comes amid restructuring changes at the clothing company. Earlier this month, the group revealed plans to discontinue its operations in China, while last week it said it will shutter most of its shops in the Netherlands, blaming long-term weakness in the Dutch market and under-performing stores.

The company, whose core business is underwear, in August reported an 8.7% decline in first-half net profit to SEK9.4m (US$1.5m), due to lower sales and margins.