Moleskine gets off to sluggish start in Milan

 
City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in upmarket notebook maker Moleskine ended the day slightly below their offer price in their market debut in Milan yesterday.

The maker of notebooks based on originals used by Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin is the first company to join the main Milan stock market since the listing of cashmere brand Brunello Cucinelli nearly a year ago.

Moleskine shares closed the day at €2.28, just below the €2.30 price the company had set for its €488m (£414.3m) initial public offering (IPO).

The Milan-based company was valued at a discount to exclusive names such as Prada.

“We are better than the average of luxury makers in terms of profitability,” chief executive Arrigo Berni said at the market launch ceremony at Milan’s stock exchange. Founded in 1997, the company makes its thread-bound jotters in Asia, with a margin on sales of 43 per cent.

Moleskine is the fourth upscale Italian brand to tap the stock market in under two years, following the IPOs of Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Cucinelli. Berni said he expected significant growth in coming years as Moleskine develops apps and other digital products for a growing number of smartphone users and opens its first stores in China.