European Supplier Offers Global Predictions and Trends

November 27th, 2012 by Editor

Roto Frank AG, parent company of Roto North America, hosted its 7th International Trade Press Day at its German headquarters earlier this month where top executives covered everything from global economic forecasts to a picture of units produced in the global European market.

Volker Fitschen, head of the sales area, Central Europe, window and door technology division, said the company is optimistic regarding its ability to tackle the downturn on door and window markets predicted in 2013.

He gave a picture of the market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland saying the area represents a total volume of 18.4 million window units and approximately 1.5 million doors. Germany contributes well over 13 million windows and 1.3 million doors to this volume. Austria and Switzerland are ranked second with 2.6 million windows and 1.3 million doors each, he said.

In Germany, the moderate growth in window sales figures since 2005 (11.6 million units) has mainly been generated by stricter energy regulations. The 13 percent increase in business volume to 5 billion Euros in the years 2007 to 2011 reported by industry associations had resulted from a general trend toward triple glazing and high-value frame materials.

“The German Window & Facade Association also predicted a sales volume increase of 3 percent for 2012,“ he said. “The hardware industry however would barely profit from this growth–even energy windows can be built without adding extra components, therefore the quantity of hardware sold remains the same.”

The German entrance door market shows a similar picture: moderate growth due to energy-saving measures in terms of volume (2005: 1.1 million units) and revenues (2007 to 2011 plus 10 percent to 1.4 billion Euros).

Dr. Eckhard Keill, CEO, also addressed the group during the event, and stated that while governments and economists are still being mildly optimistic, the situation on most relevant markets has been deteriorating in the second half of 2012.

“It is feared that 2013 will even bring a significant downturn,” he said. “Therefore the Roto Group has to prepare for strong headwind on markets. Since the company is well prepared for these challenges, it expects to stay on track.”

He also pointed out that “reality couldn’t care less about forecasts.” While economists in the United States point out that consumer confidence is increasing, this is not the case in Europe.

“Consumer confidence is the critical factor for this process and it has already, or will most likely deteriorate significantly,” said Keill.

Professor Manfred Guellner, head of the Berlin-based Forsa (Institute, analysed the general mood in Germany saying 83 percent of the population is “worried” or “very worried” about the Euro crisis. “The economic outlook has again plummeted to the same dramatic level as during the crisis in 2008,” he said.

Dr. Keill added that, according to the latest “Eurobarometer,” which surveyed 27,000 Europeans from 27 countries in May 2012, 69 to 75 percent of respondents classified the current economic situation as “bad.” Only 17 to 19 percent believe that it will improve.


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