The CEO of sportswear retailer and distributor Pou Sheng is to take up a new post as general manager of the group's retail operations.

Pou Sheng is the retail arm of Yue Yuen, the world's largest branded athletic and casual footwear maker.

Liu Wen Xin stepped into the CEO's role on 1 March following the retirement of former chief executive Huang Tsung Jen.

But Pou Sheng now says its review of the company's management structure is aimed at enhancing its efficiency.

Chairman David Tsai as acting chief executive while the company searches for a successor.

The executive shuffle came as Pou Sheng posted an 82% slump in first-half profit blaming higher discounts to boost sales, and higher selling and distribution expenses.

It also said the end of an exclusive brand licensee arrangement on Converse products had led to narrower profit margins.

For the six months to 31 March, net profit tumbled to US$4.8m

Revenue increased by 27.2% to US$533.9m, helped by growth in its retail, manufacturing and property leasing businesses, the company said.

But while gross profit rose by 11.0% to US$175.1m, gross profit margin fell to 32.8% from 37.6%.

Pou Sheng said the six-month period was "full of challenges," including a post-Olympic slow-down on sales, which led to excess inventory and fierce competition on price.

But while it sees retail sales remaining volatile in the near term it believes the demand for sportswear in China is "still growing, driven by low penetration rate of sportswear industry, rising disposable income per capita and increasing popularity of sports."