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Blue Apron results miss Wall Street expectations on higher costs – Metro US

Blue Apron results miss Wall Street expectations on higher costs

FILE PHOTO: The Blue Apron logo is pictured at the
FILE PHOTO: The Blue Apron logo is pictured at the New York Stock Exchange in New York,

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Blue Apron Holdings Inc reported a bigger-than-expected loss, as a drop in orders per customer and higher food and labor costs hurt the online meal kit company’s bottom line.

Shares of the company were up nearly 2% at $3.31 in midday trading, helped by comments from executives that costs were expected to normalize.

Blue Apron said it lost $38 million, or $1.19 per share, compared with an average analyst estimate of losing 63 cents per share.

The company said it had to manage higher absenteeism driven by the Omicron variant at the beginning of the quarter, which resulted in the use of more expensive temporary employees.

Chief Financial Officer Randy Greben told investors that he believed the company’s costs reached a “high-water mark” in the first quarter and had increased prices for its meal kits and wine products.

The company reported the number of orders per customer in the quarter fell 5.6% to 5.1 from the same period a year earlier. Compared with the prior quarter, orders per customer rose to 5.1 from 5.

“We’re acquiring customers at a higher rate in Q1 of this year than we were in Q1 of last year because of the new marketing campaigns. And we’re not seeing much of a degradation in customer engagement and behavior actually at all,” said Linda Findley, CEO of Blue Apron, in an interview with Reuters.

The company said marketing costs were up 40% in the first quarter.

Blue Apron plans this month to list its boxes on Walmart.com to reach new customers without a subscription and intends by the end of Q3 to offer seven days a week delivery to a majority of the United States.

Net revenue decreased approximately 9% year-over-year to $117.8 million, hurt by a decline in customers and orders, the company said.

(Reporting by Anna Driver and Doyinsola Oladipo; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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