Moleskine shares end lower on first day of trading

Moleskine notepad
Image caption Moleskine enjoys a strong profit margin

Shares in the upmarket notebook and diary-maker Moleskine closed lower on their first day of stock market trading in Milan.

The company's flotation raised 488m euros ($627m; £414m) and at one point the stock rose as much as 3%.

The shares later slipped back to end almost 1% below their issue price at 2.28 euros.

The firm, which makes diaries and other stationery products, has sold just over 50% of the business.

Its notebooks, which are priced at the high end of the market at around 15 euros, are based on those used by the famous authors Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin.

The company - which was founded in 1997 - enjoys profit margins of as much as 43% and has plans to build on its brand recognition by expanding on its range of goods.

"We are better than the average of luxury makers in terms of profitability," Moleskine chief executive Arrigo Berni told the Reuters news agency.

Moleskine is controlled by pan-European private equity group Syntegra Capital, which prior to the float owned two-thirds of the business.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites