Domestic sales of software and interactive books at LeapFrog rose 26% in 2003, to $175.9 million, the company reported in its year-end filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase was due in part to the introduction of new electronic platforms, including LeapPad Plus Writing and LittleTouch LeapPad. The introduction of new platforms boosted sales in the platform segment 13% last year, to $232.9 million. About nine million electronic platforms were sold last year, bringing the total number of LeapFrog platforms sold to 23 million. Sales of stand-alone products increased 23%, to $137.2 million in 2003.
The software, platform and stand-alone segments are all part of LeapFrog's U.S. consumer group, which had a sales gain of 19% in the year, to $546 million; operating income increased 15%, to $83.2 million. The consumer group now publishes more than 100 interactive books for use on various LeapFrog electronic platforms. The release of LittleTouch LeapPad added six new interactive books to LeapFrog's offerings. Introduced in the fall, the program is designed for children six months to three years old. Among the company's established platforms, there are now 12 interactive books available for the My First LeapPad platform. Sales for My First LeapFrog accounted for about 12%, or $81 million, of the company's total revenue last year.
Total sales at LeapFrog rose 28%, to $680 million, in 2003, and net income jumped 67%, to $72.7 million.
Although the U.S. consumer market is by far LeapFrog's largest segment, the education and training and international segments are the company's fastest-growing areas, albeit from a much small revenue base than the consumer market. Sales in the education and training segment jumped 86% last year, to $37.5 million. The segment, known as the SchoolHouse division, has more than 200 LeapPad and Quantum Pad books plus more than 450 skill cards. The sales gain was driven by the first full year of sales of several products, including Ready, Set Leap! and Language First. To help broaden its educational offerings, LeapFrog signed a deal earlier this year with Riverdeep to create LeapFrog titles based on Riverdeep's Reader Rabbit character. And earlier this month, SchoolHouse introduced the first six interactive titles in its transitional reading series.
Sales in the international division leaped 80%, to $96.6 million. Gains were strongest in the U.K. and Canada and were also up in France and Australia. Sales to Japan were down.