The electronic learning products specialist, VTech has seen group revenue increase by 10.6 per cent across its European operations, to hit $487.5 million in the first six months of the financial year, as sales of its Electronic Learning Products helped offset lower revenue from other avenues of the tech giant’s global business.
Europe remained VTech’s second largest market, accounting for 43.4 per cent of Group revenue which, despite 2020 being a year of ‘unprecedented challenges’, saw an increase in profit on stable revenue and improved gross margin profit.
Revenue drawn from VTech’s Electronic Learning Products business rose by 8.2 per cent across Europe to reach $157.6 million, with higher sales of both standalone and platform products. Sales increased in France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, while declining in Spain.
For the first nine months of the calendar year 2020, VTech was the number one infant and toddler toys manufacturer in France, the UK, Germany and the Benelux countries.
In standalone products, both the VTech and LeapFrog brands achieved higher sales. For the VTech brand, growth was led by preschool products, KidiZoom camera, other Kidi line products and Switch & Go Dinos. This offset declines in infant products and the Toot-Toot family of products.
The new Go! Go! Cory Carson vehicles and play-sets were rolled out to the major European markets in September 2020 under the name Toot-Toot Cory Carson.
Meanwhile, LeapFrog saw rising sales of infant, toddler and pre-school products in the first half of the financial year, with strong sales of Learning Friends 100 Words Book and 100 Animals Book. This offset a decline for Bla Bla Blocks (the European name for LeapBuilders).
Elsewhere, platform products saw growth in sales of both VTech and LeapFrog branded products. For VTech, the main drivers were KidiZoom Smartwatches, Touch & Learn Activity Desk and children’s educational tablets. Growth in these products offset a decline in KidiCom Max. At LeapFrog, the revenue increase was driven by higher sales of Magic Adventures Globe and interactive reading systems, which offset declines in RockIt Twist and children’s educational tablets.
In the first six months of the financial year 2021, Speak & Learn Puppy and KidiZoom Video Studio HD were named “Best Infant Toy” and “Best High Tech Toy” respectively, in the “Grand Prix du Jouet 2020” awards given by La Revue du Jouet magazine in France.
“The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to most of the world’s businesses. When VTech announced its annual results for the financial year 2020 in May this year, the Group’s key markets were experiencing different levels of lockdown, with extensive closures of retail outlets, weak consumer sentiment and a severe slowdown in business activities. This resulted in very low order visibility and consequently a pessimistic outlook was given for the financial year 2021,” said Allan Wong, chairman and group CEO of VTech Holdings Limited.
“Despite many uncertainties, however, sales for the first six months turned out to be better than expected and the Group reported stable revenue, an improved gross profit margin and higher profit for the period.”