Roto Group held its International Press Day in Graz, Austria in November. The German hardware manufacturer previewed new technology and outlined plans for business under its new corporate structure.
The event began with a tour of the facility in Kalsdorf bei Graz, a site that recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Inside, visitors saw the modern technology, including a brand new €2.5 million powder coating facility that Roto uses to manufacture over 20 million components annually at this location alone.
At the press conference, the management team reported that demand for the new Roto NX Tilt&Turn system had risen much quicker than expected, necessitating investment in new production machines.
A significant announcement is a new hardware surface coating, known as RotoSil Level 6, with the claim that it is the most advanced in the industry. The presentation outlined how the new formulation had undergone extreme climate testing. Its introduction to all product groups will begin during 2019.
CFO Michael Stangier projected a 2018 year end Group turnover of €660 million, around 5 percent up last year’s figure. Roto is aiming to increase turnover by 3 to 5 percent during 2019.
CEO Dr Eckhard Keill presented his view of international markets. His overall message was that unpredictable political situations are having a detrimental effect on the growth of the construction sector in many regions. He noted excellent growth in North America and progress in Argentina, Chile and Mexico but continued market depression in Brazil, where Roto owns the Fermax hardware brand.
There was subdued growth in China, but the market in Russia remains “extremely unstable”, he said. As for Europe, the construction sector was projected to grow by 2.5 percent, less impressive than the 3.9 percent last year.
Dr Christian Faden, who will run the new company division, Roto Professional Service, explained how the company’s ambition is to become a service provider in the area of maintenance and upgrading of windows and doors. There is however no plan to expand this service outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the foreseeable future.
Two new Roof Window products, the Designo R6 and R8 Quadro, were also presented. These PVC models are claimed by Roto to be the best in class and designed with ease of installation in mind.
The event ended with a practical demonstration of the burglary inhibition of the Roto TiltSafe mechanism. Operatives using crowbars and other tools showed how a window locked open in tilt mode could still resist attack for several minutes. They were unable to break or disengage the TiltSafe retaining components holding the sash in place. It certainly illustrated why this aspect of the Roto NX system has attracted so much interest.