The world's largest shoe manufacturer, Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings), and leading supplier to firms such as Nike and Reebok, on Friday posted a 1.5 per cent fall in six-month net profits to $110.5 million from $112.2m in the year-ago period.

Yue Yuen said turnover climbed 1.5 per cent to $909.2m, with athletic shoes making up 78.3 per cent of total sales, compared to 75 per cent in 2001. It added casual and outdoor shoes generated 15.2 per cent of turnover compared with 17.3 per cent last year.

It added the US remained its largest market with Europe its second key region and explained turnover growth was affected by weak consumer demand late last year which hit orders for shipment early in 2002.