Revenue at Educational Development Corp. inched ahead 0.8% in the third quarter ended November 30, 2019, over the comparable period a year ago. Sales were $40.8 million, up from $40.4 million in last year’s third quarter. Net income fell 2.8%, to $2.7 million. The small sales increase came from a 2.1% gain in its direct sales division where sales hit $38.1 million, which offset a 13.8% decline in sales from its publishing unit.

EDC chairman and CEO Randall White said the improvement in the direct sales group was primarily due to an increase in the number of sales consultants selling the EDC line, as well as from improved operations. The drop in publishing sales, White said, was due to a sales promotion with one of its largest retail customers.

“Our sales improvements and improved execution have made us more confident in our ability to handle growth,” White said in a statement. “In addition, we are implementing several new consultant and customer facing IT systems that we believe will better support our sales force and improve our customer’s experience.”

For the first nine months of the fiscal year that ends February 28, EDC’s sales were down 2.5%, to $92.8 million, and earnings fell 16.6%, to $5.1 million.