The Group is making significant strides in expanding its presence in the region through the acquisition of an Indian tank and plastic seat company and a powerful distribution group in Australia, and its implementation in Thailand. Investments in manufacturing capacity focused on expanding the sanitary ware plants in Dewas and Tangshan and the implementation of specific lines for boosting new categories (smart toilets and new faucet materials). The Group currently has sales offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore, in addition to industrial activities in China, India, Malaysia and Taiwan. Despite the uneven economic development in Asian countries, they managed to improve turnover from the previous year and also increase their contribution to the Group’s gross profit.
Poster advertising the new Alba series at the Shanghai airport.
China’s liberalization measures aiming to consolidate a more sustainable economy, less dependent on investment, have led the country to post the slowest economic growth in the last 25 years (7.4%). To a large extent, the slowdown is also explained by the decline in activity in the construction sector during the second half of the year, with a drop in sales after years of growth and a trend towards concentration in big developers.
Poster advertising the new Alba series at the Shanghai airport.
Given the drop of the construction sector, the Group has opted for developing high-value categories, such as smart toilets and bathroom space furniture, and a greater commercial focus on the retail channel. We have opened 34 new outlets, renovated existing stores and started selling online through the Tmall.com platform. Likewise, strategic agreements with prestigious hotel groups such as Hilton and Intercontinental put the Group’s products in 24 new five-star hotels in China.
The Hilton Haikou Meilan Hotel, one of the latest hotel complexes awarded to Roca in China.
In 2014 the Roca Design Center Asia was also inaugurated, aiming to develop specific products for the Asian market, in coordination with the Gavà headquarters. Roca’s development of the Alba intelligent toilet, featuring high-tech features, has led to the opening of an assembly line dedicated to smart toilets (In Wash, Alba) at the Suzhou plant. Another significant industrial investment was the expansion project for the sanitary ware plant in Tangshan, which involved transferring faucet production to Suzhou.
Space dedicated to Roca electronic toilets at the Shanghai KBC fair.
Alba, intelligent and integrated. Developed entirely by Roca China, Alba is a high-end syphon toilet for the Asian market. It features In-Tank (built-in toilet tank) and In-Wash (shower toilet in the seat) technologies, boasting features such as remote control, heated seat and minimum water consumption. It was unveiled in the framework of the KBC fair in Shanghai.
Roca Design Center Asia. The new design center, located in Foshan, was founded with the aim of designing specific products for the Asian market, in addition to technically adapting European collections.
The absolute majority won by Narendra Modi in the May legislative elections, and his commitment to the country’s modernization and the intensification of international relations, have driven economic growth in the country above 7%, boosting companies’ confidence and strengthening manufacturing activity.
The Group has achieved an increase of almost 13% in local currency, driven primarily by increased sales in sanitary ware and bathtubs. Given the good prospects, the Group strengthened its industrial activity with the acquisition of Espiem — in which it already owned a stake —, which has two polypropylene tank and plastic seat plants (Pantnagar and Chennai) . These are the Group’s first factories in this business line, which allow concentrating in India the manufacturing and assembly seats in entry-level products for all of Asia. Other significant investments include the installation of a blast furnace and a zamak handle chrome line at the Bhiwadi plant and the successful expansion of the sanitary ware plant in Dewas.
Dewas Expansion. The expansion project for the Dewas porcelain plant has doubled its capacity in just two years, reaching 2.4 million pieces annually. In addition, a new administration building and new warehouses were built.
Zamak handles. The Bhiwadi plant is the Group’s first plant to produce faucet handles in this material. It has an initial capacity of 2 million pieces annually to provide brands in markets worldwide.
Investment in the Dewas porcelain plant boosts production to 2.4 million pieces annually.
Espiem factory acquired by the Group in India.
Despite the decline in 2014 due to political tensions — especially the military coup in May —, Thailand is considered one of the most promising markets in Southeast Asia, with a population of 67 million and an economy based on tourism and electronics and automotive manufacturing. In 2014 the Group arrived in Thailand by creating a new company with local distributor HACO, which has already begun marketing the porcelain, furniture and faucet lines.
Roca loves Thai. Roca was present at the 2014 ASA fair in Bangkok with a slogan that promotes the company’s values of proximity and sensitivity, as bearer of the “Barcelona brand”.
Roca arrives in Thailand, underscoring its origin innovation of its products.
Malaysia’s economy grew at a higher-than-expected rate (6%) due to favorable external demand, regional integration measures, economic diversification and tax reforms. The Group’s strategy in the country is based on being awarded high-profile projects in the region, most notably the new city of Bismayah (Iraq), a huge undertaking promoted by a Korean construction company which would entail the delivery of 575,000 pieces of sanitary ware.
Laufen showroom in Australia, featuring the Kartell by Laufen collection. Group plant in Malaysia. The South Pacific office has won the prestigious Raintree hotel project (Papua New Guinea) for Roca and Laufen. The Saturday Indesign event hosted the presentation of Roca’s Meridian In-Tank in Australia, where they began distributing in May 2015.
Group plant in Malaysia.
The rebound in exports offset the fall in investment in the mining sector and the exploitation of natural resources, which has led to a growth of 2.7%. The Group’s capillarity increase strategy implemented in recent years received a decisive boost in 2014 with the acquisition of Gemini Industries, which boasts logistics centers in key states around the country and a country-wide sales team. Thanks to this arrangement, distributors will enjoy a comprehensive bathroom space catalog.
New office in Sydney. The operations of the Group’s various brands and products in the South Pacific were moved in July 2014 to a new office in Sydney.
Laufen showroom in Australia, featuring the Kartell by Laufen collection.
The Saturday Indesign event hosted the presentation of Roca’s Meridian In-Tank in Australia, where they began distributing in May 2015.