Acquisitions power share listing candidate Constantia Flexibles

VIENNA Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:42am EDT

VIENNA Aug 20 (Reuters) - Acquisitions increased sales but weighed on the operating margin and first-half profit of packaging group Constantia Flexibles, a rare candidate for an Austrian stock market listing.

Majority owned by JP Morgan's One Equity Partners, it makes packaging and labels for the food, beverage and drugs sectors.

Takeovers in India and Mexico as part of a push into emerging markets helped it boost sales by a fifth to 803 million euros ($1.07 billion).

But net profit fell by a third to 21 million euros and its operating margin slipped a 0.6 percentage point to 7.7 percent as it digested the acquisitions.

Chief Executive Thomas Unger declined on a conference call to comment on prospects for an initial public offering (IPO).

Sources close to the situation told Reuters this month that Constantia Flexibles has hired banks for an IPO that could take place as early as this year.

Constantia Flexibles says it is the number two packaging group in Europe and number four in the world behind Australia's Amcor and U.S. groups Bemis and Sealed Air Corp .

The Vienna Stock Exchange has hosted just one sizeable market debut since the financial crisis, the 411 million euro IPO of aluminium group AMAG in April 2011.

($1 = 0.7490 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Louise Heavens)