Blue Apron beats sales estimates in third quarter


Nov 2 (Reuters) - Meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron beat expectations for quarterly sales on Thursday, as revenue per customer rose year-on-year, offsetting a fall in subscriptions.

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Shares in the New York-based company, which have fallen more than 50 percent since their June market debut, rose 8.1 percent in premarket trading in response.

Blue Apron said average revenue per customer was $245 in the third quarter ended Sept.30, compared with $251 in the second quarter and $227 in the same period a year ago.

The five-year-old company is facing intense competition from other startups such as HelloFresh and Plated as well as the entry of Amazon, which launched its Amazon Fresh grocery service, also selling meal kits.

Net revenue rose 3 percent, to $210.6 million, compared to the same quarter a year ago, while the number of active customers fell 9 percent from the second quarter to 856,000.

On a per-share basis, Blue Apron posted a loss of 47 cents in the latest quarter.

Analysts on average had expected $191.5 million in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Patrick Graham)

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