Chinese sports wear company Li Ning is to integrate its products, sales and supply chain operations under a newly appointed chief operating officer as it tries to stem a slowdown in sales growth amid weak consumer confidence, competition from casual brands and the lack of major sports tournaments.

The company has promoted Mr Lu Ning, the former general manager of Li Ning brand sales, to COO responsible for coordinating the company's three major business segments.

It is also establishing two new general manager posts for its footwear products and its apparel and accessory products in a bid to reduce costs and enhance efficiency. These executives will report to the COO and will be responsible for coordinating product planning, design and development as well as production management.

The changes come as the company said third-quarter same-store sales growth in the three months to the end of September has fallen to a low single digit rate compared with the same period last year.