Notebook maker Moleskine Q1 sales rise on retail push

MILAN Tue May 7, 2013 11:57am EDT

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MILAN May 6 (Reuters) - Italy's Moleskine, this year's first major stock listing in crisis-hit Italy, said sales rose over 15 percent in the first quarter, helped by international retail expansion.

The maker of paper notebooks based on originals used by Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin on Tuesday said net profit rose 20.5 percent to 3.2 million euros ($4 million) in the first three months of the year.

Shares in Moleskine have lost ground since their stock market debut at a price of 2.3 euros on April 3, with analysts citing concerns about valuation and growth strategy.

Moleskine shares closed down 0.5 percent at 2.0 euros on Tuesday, before the results were released. ($1 = 0.7642 euros) (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio)

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