Trading in the shares of beleaguered Chinese sportswear company Li Ning was suspended today (24 January) pending “an announcement in relation to inside information of the company”.

No further details were given, with trading also suspended in Viva China Holdings, a business partly owned by founder and former gymnast Li Ning, and which bought a 25% stake in the Li Ning business last October.

The suspension comes after the company warned that it expected to post a “substantial” loss in the current financial year as it executes a turnaround strategy.

The long-term plan, launched last July, is focused on reducing inventory levels – caused by the company’s over-expansion – as well as getting newer products into stores and improving Li Ning’s sales network.

In its most recent results, Li Ning’s first-half profit slumped 84.9% to CNY44.3m (US$7.1m), with sales down 9.1% to CNY3.8bn and nearly 1,000 stores forced to close.