Blue Apron cuts headcount by 4 percent; posts drop in orders

(Reuters) – Blue Apron Holdings Inc (APRN.N) said on Tuesday it would reduce its headcount by 4 percent, as the meal-kit delivery company focuses on its online business to help reverse six straight quarters of revenue declines.

The New York-based company has been struggling to boost sales as it faces intense competition not only from peers like HelloFresh SE (HFGG.DE), but also from grocers selling their own ready-to-eat meals. The entry of Inc (AMZN.O) into grocery service and meal kits business has added to pressure.

The company reported another steep decline in net revenue for the third quarter, down 28.4 percent at $150.6 million.

Total number of individuals who signed up for its service fell nearly 25 percent to 64,6000, while number of orders dropped about 27 percent to 2.65 million, the company said.

Blue Apron said it expects to incur employee severance charges and other exit costs of about $1.6 million in the fourth quarter, while generating annual savings of about $16 million in 2019.

The company had 3,938 full‑time employees as of Jan. 31, according to its annual filing

Blue Apron’s net loss narrowed to $33.9 million, or 18 cents per share, from $87.2 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s shares fell about 5 percent to $1.16 after the bell. They have plunged about 70 percent since the start of the year.

Blue Apron is scheduled to hold a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

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