Fueled by an increase in the number of schools taking part in its eduPartners program, Varsity Group reported that sales jumped nearly 52% in 2003, to $25.2 million, while net income soared to $4.4 million from $661,000 in 2002. The number of schools using eduPartners rose to 240 at the close of 2003, compared to 150 schools at the end of 2002. Through eduPartners, Varsity serves as the online bookstore for various educational institutions.
Varsity chairman Eric Kuhn said the company's 2003 performance "continued to prove the growth potential and scalability of our model." Founded in 1998, Varsity turned its first profit in 2002 after it abandoned its original plan to sell textbooks to students online in favor of providing an online outsourcing option for schools that don't want to operate their own bookstores. Kuhn said he expects "significant growth" in 2004 as more schools join the eduPartners program.
Varsity also announced that it has extended its fufillment agreement with Baker & Taylor through June 2006.