June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

First quarter sales were lean for eDiets.com

For the quarter ended March 31, sales for eDiets declined by 39.8% to $5.3 million from $8.8 million in the first quarter of 2008. Revenue from digital diet plans fell year over year 56.3% to $1.4 million from $3.2 million.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

First quarter sales were pretty lean for eDiets.com Inc.

For the quarter ended March 31, sales for eDiets declined by 39.8% to $5.3 million from $8.8 million in the first quarter of 2008. Revenue from digital diet plans fell year over year 56.3% to $1.4 million from $3.2 million while meal delivery sales decreased 53.7% to $1.9 million in Q1 from $4.1 million in Q1 2008. The company’s other related revenue, which includes business-to-business sales, increased by 31.3% to $1.97 million from $1.5 million in the prior year.

The net loss for eDiets, No. 322 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in the first quarter was $2.8 million vs. $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2008. “During the first quarter we achieved our goals of top-line growth over the fourth quarter and significant improvement in the bottom line, despite continued difficult economic conditions,” says eDiets CEO Kevin McGrath. “Our year-over-year bottom-line improvement reflects the progress on our key priorities, which include restoring and enhancing the functionality of our core digital, meal delivery and B2B business platform, implementing supply chain restructuring and cost-cutting initiatives, and optimizing our overall customer experience.”

In the first quarter eDiets reduced total expenses by 48.1% to $6.9 million from $13.3 million in Q1 of 2008. The company spent $2.2 million on marketing in Q1, a decrease of 48.1% from the prior year, but increased technology spending by 5% to $1 million from $952,000.

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