Roto has held its 14th International Press Day in Bad Mergentheim, Germany. Journalists were invited to the base of the group’s Roof & Solar division for an event that focused on customer benefits.
During a site tour, delegates saw the inside of the Roto Product Innovation Centre, where teams work on new projects and product developments.
This was the first time Roto has presented itself to the trade media since its new business structure was implemented. There are three divisional companies, each trading independently and all under the umbrella of Roto Frank Holdings AG.
The head of the holding company, Dr Eckhard Keill, reported a combined group turnover of €509 million for the first nine months of 2019, 1% up on the previous year. The projected annual turnover is €668 million. Growth is below the target of 3 to 5% set last year and Dr Keill said this was due to market downturns attributable to political factors.
The Roto figurehead predicted tough global economic conditions over the next year and said the group would aim to counter this by concentrating on its strengths, particularly those customer benefits that set it apart from competitors. He also talked about how Roto continues the digitalisation of its processes in order to gain efficiencies. The objective for 2020 will be to achieve single digit growth in turnover and at the same time improve profitability.
Marcus Sander of the Window & Door Technology division emphasised the customer benefit angle, explaining how Roto would be concentrating on products that meet client needs. One such example is the growing requirement for ease of use and accessibility due to an ageing population.
Another area of focus was how Roto products help windows and doors to cope with extreme weather. Roto now claims further advantages in this area because it provides weathersealing products under the Deventer brand.
Sander said that Roto will continue to offer hardware technology for both the smallest and largest windows, and from affordable mainstream products up to the higher end.
Product innovation director Hartmut Schmidt explained how the new RotoSil Level 6 coating is being rolled out to the Roto product range. The surface has a microcrystalline structure and is designed to provide protection to all components – including those subject to mechanical stress – in extremes of climate beyond the requirements of current standards.
Chrisian Faden, head of the recently-formed Roto Frank Professional Service, announced a new online spare parts finder, which Roto claims is a first for the industry. The application is designed to help customers find and order any spare part up to 10 years old. An English language version is due for future release.
The event concluded with a lively panel discussion between Dr Keill and four leading industry figures from across Europe. The topic was the image of windows and their appeal to consumers. The group agreed that the industry should do more to improve the desirability of windows and to work in a united way to achieve this aim.