Sports shoe giant Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd on Monday unveiled ambitious plans to move into the sportswear manufacturing market.

The world's largest shoe producer, which makes footwear for industry giants such as Nike, Timberland, Adidas and Reebok, said its first sports apparel factory is expected to be built in China's southern Guangdong province.

Financial details for the proposed sportswear operation were not disclosed but Yue Yuen said at today's AGM it has set aside between $150 million and $160m to increase production lines and boost its materials business.

Commenting on the sportswear announcement, managing director David Tsai said: "It complements our footwear business. We hope by this time next year, we would have some sportswear products coming out."

Yue Yuen's 254 production lines in factories in Vietnam, China and Indonesia churned out more than 130 million pairs of shoes last year as it posted a record profit of $228.5m on turnover of $1.94 billion.

Separately on Monday, Yue Yuen shareholders backed proposals for a two-for-one share split and a reduction of the board lot size in a move aimed at boosting liquidity and broadening the shareholder base.