Roto Sees Challenging Year Ahead in Global Market

December 4, 2012

Executives at the Roto Group, the Germany-based hardware manufacturer, see many global markets deteriorating in the second half of 2012 and now fear a “significant downturn” in 2013. At the company's 7th International Trade Press Day, Eckhard Keill, Roto Frank AG CEO, reported that, when looking at various countries, there is either a downward trend, as in South Europe, or a slowdown in growth, as in China.

 Eckhard Keill, CEO of Roto Frank AG in Germany

Speaking to more than 50 journalists from 12 countries at the November event, Keill attributed the company's forecast to a “prevailing crisis of consumer confidence.” He pointed to a recent Europe-wide survey that found, depending on the region, 69 percent to 75 percent of respondents classified the current economic situation as “bad" already, with 32 percent to 37 percent expecting the overall economic situation to deteriorate further within the next 12 months.

“If people are plagued by fears and worries, they are purchasing and investing less–or nothing at all,” Keill said. The same applies to business in general, and window and door manufacturers in particular, he added.

Despite the "extremely stormy waters,” Keill also expressed optimism that Roto will be able to “row against the tide.” Growth opportunities will be limited to a few regions, including Germany, and will remain moderate. The Roto Group and its divisions are “doing everything” in order to defy the impending downturn, he continued, noting that an ambitious goal has been set. “We strive to keep our revenues at least at the existing level and hope to be able to push them up by a low one-digit percentage.”

One reason for that growth will be continued emphasis on developing new products and services. "It is the continuous improvement of details–big or small–that drives business sustainably," according to Udo Pauly, head of marketing of Roto’s Window and Door Technology Division, who also spoke at the trade press day. Examples of products he cited include a new lever in the Roto NT line designed for easy handling, simple assembly and burglary protection without using additional components, as well as a new concealed hinge in the NT Designo line for aluminium windows with high sash weights.

On the door side, Pauly pointed to Roto's strategy of positioning itself as a complete system provider.  He noted two new multipoint door systems, as well as new  electric drive technology in its PatioLife line of hardware for large lift/slide doors.  Now ready for production, the fully automatic technology for sliding doors is "the real winner," he noted.