Leading footwear firm Vans Inc has revealed the recent outbreak of the deadly SARS virus in China and Hong Kong could hit its ability to make and ship products.

The California-based company said in a corporate filing that most of the factories it has contracts with are situated in southern China while its Asian offices are based in Hong Kong.

"Any significant interruption in our ability to send personnel to those areas to inspect and develop product or samples, or a high absenteeism rate at the factories or at our offices, could have an adverse effect on our ability to finalise, manufacture and ship our products," it said.

Vans last month revealed it swung to a third quarter loss amid flat sales and a net $9.4 million charge for the write down of 10 skate parks and some outlets.