Randall W. White, Chairman and CEO of Educational Development Corporation, reports that the Company closed out the year with January and February sales up 23%, giving the Company its first sales increase in two years. The Company earned $0.24 a share on net sales of $16,851,261 for the year ended February 29, 2000.
During fiscal year 2000 the Company focused on regaining sales growth. Recruitment of new consultants is a key factor in the Home Business Division and during the year the Company increased regional training clinics and began an advanced leadership skills program to help consultants and supervisors build their business. The results were very positive as new recruits increased 38% in fiscal year 2000 when compared with the previous year.
To build sales in the Publishing Division, the Company significantly increased marketing and promotion expense including additional trade show representation, in store promotions and marketing allowances. The Company also restructured its sales and marketing operations in order to increase its market presence with national accounts. These accounts are now being handled by the Corporate headquarters.
The Company is pleased to announce it has developed a new product for the early childhood education market, primarily for the Head Start program. This program is diagnostic and prescriptive and is correlated to the Head Start objectives. Major emphasis is being placed on early intervention in the education process and the Company is very excited about the potential for this product.
The Board of Directors continues to believe the Company's stock is undervalued and the Company has continued to acquire shares under the stock repurchase program. To date, approximately 1.4 million shares have been repurchased.