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UPDATE 1-Blue Apron posts bigger-than-expected loss in first qtr since debut

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Aug 10 (Reuters) - Blue Apron Holdings Inc on Thursday reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company, as the meal-kit delivery service spent heavily on hiring and on building its delivery infrastructure.

The company reported a net loss of $31.6 million in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a net income of $5.5 million a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, Blue Apron posted a loss of 47 cents, bigger than the 30-cent loss analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue climbed nearly 18 pct to $238.1 million, edging past analysts' expectations of $235.8 million.

But that 18 percent increase lagged the 42 percent growth in revenue in the previous quarter, Blue Apron said, driven by a planned reduction in spending on marketing.

Blue Apron went public on the New York Stock Exchange in late June, but its shares have since languished, falling nearly 40 percent amid concerns over e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc's recent moves in the grocery and meal-kit segments.

Amazon's moves include its industry-altering deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market Inc and a trademark it registered last month for a possible meal-kit service.

Product, technology, general and administrative expenses soared 86 percent year-over-year to $65.7 million in the second quarter, reflecting increased hiring as well as the cost of operating two distribution centers in New Jersey.

Blue Apron said the number of active customers rose to 943,000 at the end of the quarter from 766,000 a year earlier.

Shares of the company were marginally lower at $6.23 in choppy premarket trading on Thursday. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)