Roca is a company with over 90 years of history.
Roca Group began business in 1917 as Compañía Roca Radiadores S.A. This company was dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of cast-iron radiators for home heating at its factory in Gavà (Barcelona), but the rapid penetration of new products into the market and a solid determination to expand led the areas of business to be enlarged with the aim of diversifying activities. As a result, in 1925 the first cast-iron boilers were made, and in 1929 the company began to make cast-iron bathtubs. In 1936 Roca entered the sanitary tile sector and in 1954 it began to produce faucets and fittings. A second porcelain tile factory was opened in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) in 1962.
It was in 1963, with the start-up of an air-conditioner factory in Sabadell (Barcelona), when Roca became one of the first Spanish companies to enter the new climatisation market. Later on, in 1968, a third porcelain tile factory was opened, in Alcalá de Guadaira (Seville), and in 1974 the steel bathtub factory was inaugurated.
The company entered the ceramic tiles sector in the 1980s. The acquisition of Cerámicas del Foix, which became a subsidiary, was the start of the current Tiles area of business. In 1989 Roca purchased a sanitaryware factory in Portugal.
During the 1980s and 90s, in keeping with the company’s determined expansion drive, commercial subsidiaries were opened, agreements were consolidated with leading companies in other markets, and corporate acquisitions and operations were carried out.
On 24 January 2002, Compañía Roca Radiadores S.A. began a process of corporate restructuring of the Group to organise the various areas of business into independent companies. To carry out this project, the new parent company Roca Group was set up. The restructuring process culminated in 2005 with the sale of the heating and air-conditioning businesses to concentrate the group’s efforts on the bathroom business, which reached the world leadership position in the early months of 2006.
Some landmarks in Roca’s history
1917. In the town of Gavà, near Barcelona, the Roca brothers set up Compañía Roca Radiadores S.A., which begins making cast-iron radiators.
1925. Roca begins producing its first cast-iron bathtubs.
1936. Roca enters the glazed porcelain sector.
1943. Roca begins making coloured glazed porcelain.
1953. Inauguration of the first faucetware factory in Gavà.
1962. Roca, well aware of the importance of saving water, reduces the consumption of its cisterns from 15 to 12 litres.
1964. Foundation of the Roca Design Centre, with a decisive impact on the company’s designs.
1970. The firm begins its international expansion with the opening of subsidiaries in France and Portugal.
1974. Roca introduces the single-lever faucet.
1979. Foundation of the Floor Tiles Division. Roca begins working with the most prominent designers of the moment. Giorgetto Giugiaro, who has designed for Ferrari, among others, creates the exclusive Columbia integrated collection with innovative, stylised lines. This collaboration with top-flight designers and architects will come to define the company’s spirit in the future.
1990. The firm’s international expansion continues in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.
1993. Roca wins the Prince Felipe Prize for Company Excellence and the National Quality Prize.
1999. Roca’s market extends to Asia with the construction in China of a sanitary porcelain tile factory. In the same year, in Spain a new floor and wall tile factory is opened in Vall d’Uxó (Castelló). In Poland, the company reaffirms its presence with the acquisition of the Pool Spa company, a manufacturer of acrylic and hydromassage baths. In Switzerland, Roca buys the Keramik Laufen firm, which at that moment was the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of sanitary porcelain tiles. The acquisition of Keramik Laufen represented a crucial strategic decision, since this company already enjoyed a prominent position in countries where Roca had less presence, such as Eastern Europe and Brazil, in addition to a good position in the USA, where it had flat tile factories and its own network of distributors. This acquisition signified a 50% leap in turnover.
2006. The Group acquires two sanitaryware manufacturers in Croatia and Romania, with the aim of meeting the demand of the countries of Eastern Europe. In Malaysia, Roca buys 100% of the shares of the JohnsonSuisse group, the leader in sanitary porcelain tiles in that country. In India, a 50% joint venture is set up with Parryware, the market leader.
2008. In India, Roca acquires the remaining 50% of Parryware. In Spain, a strategic alliance is signed with the Grupo Cosmic by means of the acquisition of 50% of its capital. With this alliance Roca seeks to create synergies to become the leader in the European market of high-range bathroom accessories, complements and furniture units. In Brazil, Roca inaugurates its first “zero waste” factory, which reuses all its industrial wastes. In Turkey, the firm sells its holding in the Kalevit company. Roca products are selected to equip the Olympic Village of the 2008 Beijing Games.
2008. Roca is distinguished with the Design Management Europe Award (DME) for the best design management in a large company.
2009. Awarded in the "Informative Design / Public Space" category for the best space at the 50th edition of the ISH 09 fair held in Frankfurt. W+W was distinguished with the two-yearly Design Plus Prize.
2010. Roca’s W+W receives international recognition with the following awards: Wallpaper* Reader’s Choice Awards (UK), the Self Build Product Innovation Award (UK), Best- Ed (Spain) and the KBB Industry Award (UK).
Roca announces a collaboration agreement with the Armani firm to develop a new bathroom concept.
Roca organises the worldwide launch of the We Are Water Foundation.
2011. Roca opens the Roca Madrid Gallery, the Roca Lisboa Gallery and the Roca London Gallery. The Roca Barcelona Gallery receives the prestigious Architectural Record Prize (USA) in the “Good Design is Good Business” category.
The W+W receives the Delta Silver Prize (Spain) for the best product design, and is, at the same time, acknowledged as one of the Best Ideas of the Year 2010 by Actualidad Económica magazine (Spain).