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Usborne Books & More Sustains Rapid Growth in Q3

Bookseller Educational Development Corp. (EDUC—NASDAQ) has reported record quarterly sales, driven by the company’s direct selling division.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2017, ended November 30, 2016, overall revenue hit $30.7 million, up from $24.4 million a year earlier. EDC is the sole American distributor of U.K.-based Usborne Books and owns Kane Miller Books, an imprint specializing in children’s literature from around the world. The company sells to retailers and directly to consumers through its Usborne Books & More division.

At Usborne Books & More, quarterly sales rose 27 percent from the same quarter last year. This growth was reflected in the company’s Consultant base, which expanded from 17,200 to 28,000 in the same period.

In the third quarter, the company cleared a profit of $1.3 million, or 31 cents per share, on par with fiscal 2015 results.

This year, overall revenue is on track to exceed $110 million, surging from just $32.5 million in 2015. Prolonged growth had given rise to a significant order backlog in recent months, as the company worked to bring shipping and distribution to scale. Management said that backlog has been cleared, but efforts to streamline operations likely will extend throughout fiscal 2018. EDC also is in the midst of implementing multiple new software systems, a process that delayed reporting and prompted the company to obtain a filing extension.

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