Leading sports shoe manufacturer Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd has posted a 4% rise in first-half profit helped by strong demand from customers like Nike and Adidas.

Profit for the six months to 31 March rose to US$217.7m from $ 209.3m in the same period last year, while revenues jumped 9.7% year-on-year to US$2.55bn.

The company said that despite a "difficult" business environment its results were helped by consolidation in the footwear manufacturing industry and sales growth in its Greater China wholesale and retail operations.

The total volume of shoes produced rose by 1.7% year-on-year to 129.9m pairs, while its total number of production lines remained flat at 440.

The group's sales are divided into footwear manufacturing (72.9% of total sales), soles and components (8.6%), and retail sales (18.5%).

By product category, demand for sports sandals jumped 44.0%, followed by casual/outdoor shoes with sales up 18.6%. Sales of athletic shoes rose 6.2%.

Retail operations in Greater China saw strong sales at its 2,062 owned retail stores/counters help push revenues up 27.0% to US$470.6m.

It also operates 2,823 retail stores/counters through regional joint ventures.

Looking ahead, Yue Yuen said turnover in April and May - the first two months of its third quarter - slipped 1.6% to US$ 861.1m.