Moncler chairman Remo Ruffini after presenting the initial public offering for the company’s listing on Milan’s stock exchange, 2 December Photograph: Antonio Calanni/AP
Some people may regard €1,000-plus for a goosedown ski jacket as good value, but it’s quite another thing to think a company that last year made top-line earnings of €161m can be worth €3.6bn.
Yet Moncler, an Italian maker of quilted jackets “that can handle the mountain as well as the city”, on Monday found itself valued at 22 times Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). The valuation came after a 40% rise from the flotation price on Moncler’s first day of trading on the Italian stock exchange.
Everything in the world of luxury fashion seems to command such a rating these days. Maybe Moncler, as its fans seem to think, can expand from luxury ski jackets and win in other areas of fashion, just as the Burberry brand is about far more than raincoats. But this valuation looks rich for a label with little real heritage and just the entrepreneurial talent of Remo Ruffini going for it.
Ruffini is holding on to his 32% stake, so he’s clearly confident. But, come on, 22 times earnings before the bad stuff assumes fashions never change.