(Adds background, updated net loss forecast, updates share price)
Nov 2 (Reuters) - Meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron beat expectations for quarterly sales on Thursday, as average revenue per customer rose year-over-year, even as subscriptions fell.
Shares in the New York-based company, which have fallen more than 50 percent since their June market debut, rose 1.9 percent in premarket trading.
Blue Apron said average revenue per customer was $245 in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $227 in the same period a year ago, and $251 in the second quarter.
The number of active customers fell 6 percent year-over-year to about 856,000, reflecting a planned reduction in marketing spending, Blue Apron said.
The lower marketing costs come as the company invests in expansion initiatives, including the launch of its new Linden, New Jersey facility. In an attempt to further trim costs, Blue Apron in October said it would cut its workforce by 6 percent.
On Thursday, Blue Apron also said it now expects to lose between $131 million and $138 million in the second half of the year. It had in August projected second-half net losses of between $121 million and $128 million.
The five-year-old company is also facing intense competition from other startups such as HelloFresh and Plated as well as Amazon.com Inc, which recently launched its Amazon Fresh grocery service and also began selling meal kits.
Net revenue rose 3 percent to $210.6 million, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Analysts on average had expected $191.5 million in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
On a per-share basis, Blue Apron posted a loss of 47 cents in the latest quarter, wider than the 42 cents analysts had expected. (Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)