Everything for the bathroom, anywhere in the world

Balanced presence between regions

The Group's current organizational model is based on an integrated corporate unit and functional departments, thus allowing local units to focus on identifying opportunities and developing the business in their respective markets.

Conceptually, the Group is currently organized into four regions, based on the industrial map and the strategic growth objectives:

  • Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East
  • Americas (North, Central and South America)
  • Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia
  • Asia-Pacific

The Group currently enjoys balanced geographical coverage, with significant presence in both mature markets and emerging economies. This balance lowers the risk from economic uncertainties.

The following pages describe the performance, business development and relevant milestones of the various regions and their main markets, in the context of a brief overview of the social and economic reality of each country.




Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East

The added value of products launched in recent years in all categories and the excellent relationships with specifiers drove the region’s sales growth, hindered only by the sociopolitical situation and the exchange rate impact in the Middle East.

Spain once again led growth in the region with increases in sales, further consolidating it as one of the main drivers for the Group. Portugal also had a remarkable performance, growing more than 10%, and brand positioning was particularly improved in the UK. France and Italy witnessed complicated internal dynamics. Egypt and Morocco were able to maintain turnover levels, while the Middle East’s contribution was affected by sociopolitical conditions and the depreciation of local currencies.

in millions of euros












The Spanish market has recovered over 60% in the last five years, making it the main driver of the Group’s development globally.



















2018 GDP2.5%
2019 GDP forecast2.1%
Population (in millions)46.6
  • The Spanish economy grew by 2.5%, half a point less than in 2017 and under 3% for the first time since 2015. However, it continues to grow above the euro zone average (1.8%).
  • Domestic consumption is the main driver, thanks to a drop in unemployment and improving salaries. International organizations warn about the urgency of reducing public debt and controlling pensions for an aging population.
  • The building industry continues to recover thanks to strong interest in remodeling, further buoyed by advances in new construction—albeit still at low levels.

Sales grew by 5% in the Group’s core market, both in new builds and refurbishments, yielding a recovery of 62% since 2013. Again, the product launch activity was admirable, especially in the development of comprehensive collections and new categories. Collections such as Carmen, Beyond and Insignia were unveiled, the new In-Wash® smart toilet was presented throughout Spain and an advertising campaign was undertaken to publicize and promote this new category among users.

In order to enhance branding in the new multichannel distribution environment, numerous actions have been taken to support traditional distribution, both in trade shows and store remodeling. Collaborative efforts also targeted the development of an e-commerce channel. The growth of the project channel was impressive as well, with special focus on the hotel market and involvement in flagship initiatives.

The Roca Tiles division remains committed to revamping the range and providing higher added value, in a complicated year marked by price pressure from the market. Key innovations were the development of formats, new options in wood, and the application of new inks and textures that greatly expand design and decorative choices. These developments were presented at the Cersaie exhibition (Bologna) and met with great success among customers.

The catalog was also expanded to include solutions manufactured in the Group’s production plants in Brazil, while the Castellón plant has upped its production capacity significantly, thanks to the addition of a new dry grinding line.

  • United Kingdom

    2018 GDP1.4%
    2019 GDP forecast1.2%
    Population (in millions)66
    GBP/EUR trend-0.9%
    • The 1.4% economic growth in the UK is the country’s lowest performance in six years due to prolonged uncertainty about Brexit conditions extending into the first half of 2019.
    • The Brexit issue clouded the rise in wages and the decline in unemployment to historic rates. The construction sector was also affected by macroeconomic instability.

    Despite a slowdown in the sector, a 6% increase in sales was achieved, prompted by improved positioning and increased market share of global brands Roca and Laufen. The actions put in place—the launch of the latest brand products and client-focused training—have begun to have a direct impact on sales, both in traditional distribution and the project channel. The latest collections of both brands have been used in flagship hotel projects around the country, thanks to agreements with leading hotel chains.

    In order to address this growing demand, a new logistics center has been set up in the center of the country, making it possible to concentrate business in the same facilities and to define a new growth strategy.

  • Italy

    2018 GDP0.9%
    2019 GDP forecast0.1%
    Population (in millions)60.5
    • Italy grew less than 1%, below expectations, in an environment of declining investments, weak domestic demand and one of the highest debt levels in the EU.
    • Slowdowns were seen in the construction sector after the slight recovery experienced in 2017.

    Weak domestic demand led to downturns in the healthcare market, slowing growth prospects for the Group. Project channel development initiatives resulted in Roca and Laufen products being featured in Venice, Verona and Milan hotels.

    The relationship with specifiers has also deepened through presentations of the two global brands at events for architects, not to mention the strong presence of various Group brands in architecture and design trade shows in Italy.

  • Portugal

    2018 GDP2.1%
    2019 GDP forecast1.7%
    Population (in millions)10.3
    • Portugal’s economic recovery in recent years—2.1% in 2018—is considered exemplary by international institutions.
    • Major milestones include a drop in unemployment, which has boosted domestic consumption, and strong external demand.
    • Construction also grew at steady rates. Increased interest in new builds has resulted in a lack of manpower and fewer remodeling projects.

    Company business grew above 10% again this year, boosted by the country’s economic recovery and industry growth. Roca consolidated its position—at the same rate as in the Spanish market—through specifier activities and the launch of the latest collections. The local brand Sanitana also had exceptional results, as it continues to upgrade its portfolio and strengthen its presence in hotel projects.

    Industrial investments include capacity expansion at the Anadia plant thanks to a new toilet casting facility that features the latest advances in process automation. Safety and environment improvements were made in the country’s remaining factories.

  • France

    2018 GDP1.5%
    2019 GDP forecast1.3%
    Population (in millions)67.1
    • France’s economy grew less than expected (1.5%) in 2018, largely as a result of the impact of the “yellow-vest” street protests during the last quarter, which curbed private consumption.
    • Construction growth was also somewhat dampened compared to forecasts, especially due to the decline in new construction.

    With the retail market in full transformation and new brands emerging as competition, the Group maintained its sales level in France and reached increased profitability. The growth strategy in the country is based on gaining presence in specialty bathroom and ceramic tile shops, meeting luxury segment needs with Roca and Laufen products.

    We have also signed new agreements with distributors, enabling them to access training sessions and exclusive offers, and we have built up our presence in national and regional trade fairs.

  • Morocco

    2018 GDP3.1%
    2019 GDP forecast3.2%
    Population (in millions)35.7
    MAD/EUR trend-1.5%
    • The strong performance of exports, agricultural activity and increased tourism enabled Morocco to maintain a growth above 3%.
    • Trends were unclear in the construction industry, which was affected by labor strikes and declining sales of residential properties.

    Despite building slowdowns, the Group was able to contain the decline in sales in a year marked by strong branding efforts. The new Debba Round and Beyond collections were launched, showrooms were opened in the towns of Laayoune, Salé and Rabat, and several showrooms were renovated (one in Casablanca and two in Tangier). We have also increased our presence in mainstream design and architecture media, as well as in outdoor advertising.

    Export activity managed from Morocco includes consolidation in Algeria and commercial development in countries, such as Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, thanks to leading products such as In-Wash®.

  • Egypt

    2018 GDP5.3%
    2019 GDP forecast5.5%
    Population (in millions)97.5
    EGP/EUR trend-3.7%
    • Growth exceeded 5% due to domestic demand and recovery of tourism. The construction sector slowed down mainly due to high inflation in recent years.

    Despite the market slowdown, we were able to maintain the previous year’s sales level and continue diversifying our offer by launching new categories for the bathroom space and flat ceramic products. Project channel efforts focused on the public and private residential sector, and loyalty marketing continues with distributors.

    2018 marked the completion of the first phase for building a new sanitaryware plant in 6th of October City, with a capacity of 1.5 million pieces in the first phase.

  • Africa and the Middle East

    2018 GDP1.8%
    2019 GDP forecast1.5%
    2018 GDP2.9%
    2019 GDP forecast3.0%
    • Weakening activity in the Middle East due to geopolitical tensions.
    • In key African markets, uncertain development in South Africa and slight recovery in Nigeria.

    General slowdowns in the economies of the Middle East and Africa have affected Group sales in these territories. However, in line with previous years, we have continued to focus on opening new stores and remodeling existing ones, as well as participating in trade fairs in emerging markets such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    We have also continued to develop branding actions and foster relationships with specifiers, in addition to sponsoring the Interior Design Awards, the largest forum for architects and designers in the Middle East.

  • Turkey

    2018 GDP2.6%
    2019 GDP forecast-2.5%
    Population (in millions)80.7
    TL/EUR trend-27.8%
    • The year was marked by the depreciation of the Turkish currency in the second half of the year in the wake of trade tension with the US and the country’s financial imbalance.
    • Construction is one of the sectors most affected by weakening demand and tightening policies.

    Despite the complicated domestic situation, the Group has maintained a steady pace of faucet line launches under local brand NSK. New series and models have resulted in greater market share—especially prominent in the cooking and valve categories. A line aimed at the value segment also met with great market acceptance.

    The Eskisehir faucet plant has rolled out new production technologies (PVD and zinc injection lines) that are key to producing new collections for brands across the Group, as well as stepping up efficiency and performance.


    Americas (North, Central and South)

    2018 was a remarkable year for the region, with well-deserved increases in local currency sales despite very complex socioeconomic conditions. The four key countries are undertaking strategic projects that will allow the company to enter new regions and market segments in the short and medium term.

    All American markets witnessed an increase in local currency sales, although the sharp depreciation of the Brazilian real and the Argentine peso had an impact on the euro-reported consolidated accounts and the region’s contribution to overall gross profit. The Group addresses the region’s growth prospects with investments such as the new plastic seat plant in Brazil, new product categories developed in Argentina and various operations in Mexico, led by the expansion of the existing plant in Santalia and the opening of a center in Puebla.

    in millions of euros












    A new seat plant in Brazil, the faucet program in Argentina and industrial development in Mexico are key strategic projects in the region.















    2018 GDP1.1%
    2019 GDP forecast2.1%
    Population (in millions)209.3
    BRL/EUR trend-16.3%
    • Second consecutive year of gradual economic recovery (1.1% growth), after the 2014-2016 recession.
    • Jair Bolsonaro elected president in October after a controversial campaign. His main economic challenges include curbing the public debt, reforming the presidency and reducing the unemployment rate, which exceeds 12%.
    • The construction sector declined for the fifth consecutive year, waiting for the recovery of public works.

    The momentum of new product categories drove an overall 10% sales increase in Brazil, the Group’s second largest market. Brazil has also seen strengthened business in the faucet sector and production startup at the plastic seat plant in Jundiaí. Additionally, the new kit series were launched and are gaining ground as an alternative sales channel for toilets. In sanitaryware, the exclusive sink series designed by the architect Ruy Ohtake has helped position the Roca brand as a benchmark in design. In further pursuit of this goal, the Roca São Paulo Gallery will open in 2020, showcasing all the Group’s brands in the country. Another growth area is the development of the project channel, boasting a dedicated team working on a comprehensive bathroom offering (sanitaryware, ceramic tile and faucets).

    Industrial investments in flat tile products in recent years have allowed us to develop a higher value range, both in decorative formats and options, targeting the US and specialist local shops.

  • Argentina

    2018 GDP-2.5%
    2019 GDP forecast-1.2%
    Population (in millions)44.3
    ARS/EUR trend-43.8%
    • The application of a restrictive policy aimed at correcting financial and macroeconomic imbalances led the country into recession (-2.5%), curbing the favorable forecasts seen in previous years.
    • The country’s climate of great uncertainty and lack of confidence, heavily dependent on international financial conditions, is limiting domestic demand.
    • The sectors hit hardest have been agriculture—aggravated by a severe drought—, construction and infrastructure.

    Despite the loss of consumer purchasing power, strong price competition and penetration of imported product, a steady new construction market and the remarkable growth of luxury series managed to hold sales steady in Argentina. The product mix has been enhanced in categories such as faucets and steel bathtubs. New efforts in faucet development include the launch of the first mixer cartridge faucets in the country, the commissioning of an assembly unit in the Lanús plant and efforts related to positioning our products at the point of sale and with specifiers.

    New products in 2018 include the locally produced Inspira series, and collections incorporating Roca-exclusive solutions such as In-Wash® and Rimless. The added value of the offer allows us to continue earning the trust of high-profile residential projects, which incorporate series such as Hall, The Gap, Dama Senso and Monaco.

  • United States

    2018 GDP2.9%
    2019 GDP forecast2.3%
    Population (in millions)325.1
    USD/EUR trend-4.3%
    • The US witnessed its highest growth year since 2015 (2.9%), mainly fueled by fiscal stimulus measures.
    • Growth is driven by private consumption and the service sector, contrasting with more sluggish business investment.
    • Expectations for 2019 are more moderate, given the uncertainty of major global challenges such as the trade conflict with China, protectionist measures and Brexit.

    The ceramic tile distribution strategy launched two years ago was strengthened this year to gain a more diversified presence in key channels: projects, direct sales and home centers. Several additional actions were geared toward the project channel: direct agreements with developers and builders, enhancements in specification activities, and collaboration in projects with major automotive chains, hotels, restaurants and retail spaces. All these efforts have resulted in renewed sales growth after two years of marginal losses due to implementing the new model.

    The product offering is evolving towards higher-value solutions, imported from the Campo Largo (Brazil) plant, meeting current trends that seek a variety of formats, colors, decorative patterns, textures and special effects. The year of 2018 also saw the introduction of sanitaryware, bathroom furniture and accessories through our local brand.

  • Mexico

    2018 GDP2%
    2019 GDP forecast1.6%
    Population (in millions)129.1
    MXN/EUR trend-6.1%
    • Mexico repeated the previous year’s growth (2%), even though 2018 was marked by uncertainty generated by North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations and the presidential elections won by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
    • The new government finally managed to renew the trade agreement, while cancelling infrastructure investments and energy/educational reforms. The government’s main challenges include reducing poverty and inequality.

    Mexico advances towards the goal of becoming one of the strategic industrial centers for the Group, which will invest in the short term in the expansion and construction of new production plants in order to meet growing local demand and to progressively intensify its commercial presence in the United States. The expansion of the Santalia sanitaryware plant in Monterrey—acquired in 2016 and near the border with Texas—and the new plant in the state of Puebla, near Mexico City, will help meet demand in the central and southern areas of the country. Both centers are expected to reach a combined production target of more than 2.2 million pieces of sanitaryware.

    In 2018 the company tackled another strategic investment: the acquisition of Metalflu, a faucet distributor located in the city of Guadalajara, to boost marketing of this product category.


    Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia

    Tightening market conditions in key countries—namely new channels and strong price pressure—has prevented further growth in the region, where the Group continues to work on a diversified offer and entry into new markets.

    Switzerland and Russia, the two main markets in the region, managed to maintain sales levels in local currency but were affected by depreciation of their currencies against the euro. Diversification of the Group’s offer with new bathroom categories and the distinctive value of the Laufen offer are essential for gaining a foothold in the markets of Central Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans, expected to increase their share in coming years. A spike in demand led to new investments in plants in the region.

    in millions of euros












    The distinctive offer by Laufen and Roca has enhanced possibilities to open new markets in Central and Northern Europe and to maintain leadership in the demanding markets of Switzerland and Russia.













    2018 GDP2.5%
    2019 GDP forecast1.1%
    Population (in millions)8.5
    CHF/EUR trend-3.7%
    • The country’s 2.5% growth was linked to an exceptional first half of the year, marked by investment incentives coupled with strong exports and domestic demand. However, external conditions (slowdown in Germany, Italian fiscal policy, global trade conflict) slowed development in the second half of the year.
    • The slowdown of new construction vs. the boom of rentals complicates the growth of the bathroom market.

    Rental market growth and the trend toward lower prices due to the entry of new competitors affected sales in Switzerland, but the market’s confidence in distinctive Laufen solutions ensured the turnover level. The Swissbau fair (Basel) featured the main innovations of the year, with new SaphirKeramik collections, faucet series and an exclusive solution for public bathrooms. In terms of specifier activity with architects and designers, we featured striking visual montages at the Designers' Saturday exhibition. We also signed collaborative agreements with key distributors in the region and positioned ourselves in the premium segment of the project channel thanks to a focus on customized solutions.

    In industrial investments, we have begun technological upgrades at the Similor faucet plant in the same town of Laufen.

  • Russia

    2018 GDP2.3%
    2019 GDP forecast1.6%
    Population (in millions)144.5
    RUB/EUR trend-10.9%
    • Russia met expectations and grew by 2.3%—its best figure in six years—in a year marked by the World Cup and Vladimir Putin’s renewed mandate.
    • The country’s growth remained dependent on oil prices and the resolution of the global trade dispute.
    • The construction market continued to grow steadily, spurred by public investment. Poor domestic demand, however, hampered progress in the retail bathroom market.

    2018 witnessed an especially strong rise in sales in Russia for the third year, as measured in the local currency. Group brands have been used in numerous World Cup infrastructure projects, mainly stadiums and airports. Project channel developments enhance our visibility and positioning, also bolstered by our involvement in efforts and platforms geared toward architects. Agreements have been signed with two of the most established retail chains.

    Industrial investments were primarily aimed at gaining more production capacity. A few examples are the plant expansion of the Ugrakeram (Kaluga) sanitaryware plant, updates to the solid surface unit in Davydovo and the expansion of facilities in Tosno, featuring a new sanitaryware plant and a new logistics center.

  • Germany and Austria

    2018 GDP1.5%
    2019 GDP forecast0.8%
    Population (in millions)82.6
    2018 GDP2.7%
    2019 GDP forecast2.0%
    Population (in millions)8.8
    • Germany saw the lowest growth rate since 2013, well below forecasts, due to weak private consumption, cooled external demand and the impact of new rules on emissions in the automotive industry.
    • New growth was close to 3% in Austria, supported by the external sector and domestic demand driven by a drop in unemployment. Although below expectations, the construction market remained stable.

    The Group’s strong position in the German premium segment offset the slowdown in a changing market, with considerable price pressure across all channels. The products in this segment included sales of Val, Ino and Kartell by Laufen collections and the Riva smart toilet. Laufen’s offer also had a strong presence in various hotel projects in major cities (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt).

    The Group again successfully defended its leading position in the Austrian market, despite price pressure and the impact of multiple channels. Project channel development projects and an increase in Laufen brand visibility underscored our performance in 2018.

  • Poland

    2018 GDP5.1%
    2019 GDP forecast3.8%
    Population (in millions)37.9
    • Poland grew more than 5% thanks to strong domestic demand, driven by rising employment rates, improving wages and the recovery of public investment.
    • Construction is booming but may suffer short-term setbacks due to a lack of skilled labor—one of the country’s main structural problems.

    In a market undergoing transformation, the Group is enhancing its presence in new channels—DIY and e-commerce—and positioning its brands through higher-value releases. Most notably, a global agreement was signed with major DIY chains in the country, and arrangements were made with traditional retail outlets to ensure product presence in their e-commerce platforms.

    In terms of product offering, the local market has responded very positively to the latest Roca developments (smart toilet and Inspira collection) and Laufen proposals. The shower tray and synthetic bathtub categories—produced in the country’s plants—gained market presence. A strong industrial presence was also decisive in increasing market share for rimless toilets and shower stalls.

  • Czech Republic

    2018 GDP2.9%
    2019 GDP forecast2.9%
    Population (in millions)10.6
    CZK/EUR trend2.6
    • The Czech economy grew by 2.9%, well below the almost 4.5% growth in 2017 and initial forecasts for 2018.
    • High domestic consumption was underpinned by one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe (2.5%), and investment activity was restrained by the slowdown in the global economy.

    With an uptick in sales of nearly 5%, the Czech Republic has become one of the Group’s main markets in Central Europe. The Group is a leader in the country thanks to the robust position of the Roca, Laufen and Jika brands, and local plants’ excellent service. New investments were also undertaken to renovate and expand the manufacturing lines in the Bechyne and Znojmo plants. These improvements will enable the manufacturing of new product categories and new series.

    Sales were increased in Slovakia and particularly Hungary—neighbor markets managed by the same unit. Both countries are moving towards a stable share in all segments.

  • Scandinavia

    2018 GDP1.4%
    2019 GDP forecast2.0%
    Population (in millions)5.8
    2018 GDP2.3%
    2019 GDP forecast1.2%
    Population (in millions)10
    2018 GDP1.2%
    2019 GDP forecast1.7%
    Population (in millions)5.8
    • Domestic consumption remains strong in Norway, although the country’s dependence on oil prices—which fell significantly at year-end—slowed the country's economic growth in 2018.
    • Sweden grew by 2.3% after year-end recovery of domestic and external demand. Denmark grew by 1.2%, less than expected due to a drop in exports.

    The consolidation of Laufen products, with a growing presence in hotel projects, and rising market demand for the Roca brand describe the Group’s performance in Scandinavia. The market in this region is characterized by conservatism and loyalty to local brands, but sales and marketing efforts (relationships with local distributors, presence at trade shows and in the media) are allowing us to win market share in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

    The Northern Europe business unit has also taken on management of the Baltic region, with new company teams in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

  • Southeast Europe

    2018 GDP3.2%
    2019 GDP forecast3.3%
    Population (in millions)5.8
    2018 GDP4.1%
    2019 GDP forecast3.1%
    Population (in millions)19.6
    2018 GDP2.7%
    2019 GDP forecast2.6%
    Population (in millions)4.1
    • Bulgaria grew by 3.2%, half a point less than in 2017, reflecting uneven growth in domestic demand during the year.
    • Growth in Romania stabilized (4.1%) compared to previous years (7% in 2017) as the EU’s investment funds lost steam.
    • Strong domestic demand, fueled by a gradual improvement in wages, drove the growth of the Croatian economy (2.7%).

    The company’s commitment to diversifying its offer yielded notable sales growth in Bulgaria and was key to winning flagship projects in the hotel industry, as well as achieving warm acceptance by the market. Broadening our offer was also key in the company’s consolidation in Romania, where Roca brand products were featured in 30 new outlets and new faucet collections from the plant in Turkey were launched.

    Croatia witnessed a strategy based on establishing flagship stores, where an agreement was signed with the leading distributor in the country and the sales of packs and installation systems were boosted. The Croatian president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, visited the Zaprešić plant, the industry’s largest industrial plant in the country, in January 2019.

  • Benelux

    2018 GDP2.5%
    2019 GDP forecast1.8%
    Population (in millions)17.1
    2018 GDP1.4%
    2019 GDP forecast1.3%
    Population (in millions)11.4
    • The Netherlands saw strong growth of 2.5%, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in their history (4%) and low inflation. The construction industry was characterized by high demand for manpower and increased housing prices.
    • Belgium also experienced solid growth (1.4%), with a stable building market and an upsurge in e-commerce in the region.

    The Group is gaining market share in the region, as it develops the business through e-commerce platforms, thus gradually consolidating the supply chain. Strides have also been made in collecting and managing market information.

    To raise awareness of the distinctive character of its offer, in 2018 the Group increased its communication activities targeting end users, the organization of brand events and the presence of the Laufen range at architectural and design meetings, in both the Netherlands and Belgium.



    Sales in the region increased by 8.5% (in euros), mostly driven by excellent results in China and India. The year was also marked by the construction of a new sanitaryware plant in Indonesia and the universal interest of users from all markets in the innovation and design offer of the Group’s brands.

    The region boasted record-high sales, thanks in large part to strong results in China—where global brands Roca and Laufen have made inroads—and in India, where Roca and Parryware stand out as benchmark brands in the industry. In other markets, the Group’s positioning in premium segments is worth highlighting, thanks to technologically advanced products and the first year of operations in Indonesia, marked by a ramp-up of commercial activity and completion of a sanitaryware factory.

    in millions of euros












    China and India posted record sales and drove growth in the region, increasing their contribution to Group profit.



















    2018 GDP6.6%
    2019 GDP forecast6.3%
    Population (in millions)1,386
    CNY/EUR trend-2.3
    • The Chinese economy grew by 6.6%, the lowest rate in the last three decades.
    • Internally, the slower growth was attributed to hardening of financial regulations to reduce debt and to curtail the informal economy.
    • Conditions worsened in the second half of the year because of trade tensions with the US, which threaten to hamper growth in China and parts of Asia.

    The Group achieved its best sales figures in China since the start of operations in the late 1990s. Growth was particularly fueled by the surge of global brands Roca and Laufen and an increasingly powerful presence in the project channel, where strategic supply agreements have been reached with major manufacturers in the country. In contrast, local brand business has been dampened by the retail slowdown in all sectors. Another channel that is driving business is e-commerce, reinforced in 2018 with the signing of a strategic alliance with Alibaba and with product series geared specifically for a channel which already accounts for close to 10% of retail sales.

    Industrial investments include a new tunnel kiln in the sanitaryware unit at Tangshan and new lines of one-piece and smart toilets. This is the fastest-growing category in the country, and it attracts the strongest efforts in product development and technological expertise.

  • India

    2018 GDP7.1%
    2019 GDP forecast7.3%
    Population (in millions)1.339.2
    INR/EUR trend-8.9%
    • India’s economic growth exceeded 7%, slightly below forecasts from the world’s leading economic organizations.
    • The year started off well, with an increase in domestic demand, but was hampered by macroeconomic factors (weakening of the rupee and rising oil prices).

    India also reached record-high sales in a very active year in terms of sales activities of the various brands in their respective market segments. These included the opening of new showrooms—shared by Roca and local brand Parryware—in strategic locations such as Luctnow, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Chennai. Faucet business has expanded notably, thanks to a full schedule of launches resulting in significant growth in the category and allowing local brands to offer a comprehensive offering for the bathroom space. Parryware has positioned itself as a leader by undertaking value-added efforts, such as a campaign to promote bathroom hygiene and maintenance, and sponsorship of a popular film.

    The network of industrial plants has received new investments to build up production categories such as one-piece toilets (Alwar), plastic products (Sriperumbudur) and faucets (Bhiwadi).

  • Malaysia

    2018 GDP4.7%
    2019 GDP forecast4.7%
    Population (in millions)32
    MYR/EUR trend1.9%
    • 4.7% growth, above expectation, were driven by robust private consumption and increased exports.
    • The May 2018 elections resulted in the first change in the party in power since 1957.
    • Controls on bank loans and rising prices have slowed home sales in a market with very high inventory levels.

    Due to the market trend toward dropping prices and the entry of low-range product, the Group has adapted its offering and had a strong pace of launches in sanitaryware, faucets and furniture. Most new products were introduced at the popular Archidex fair, held annually in Kuala Lumpur. A new Roca showroom was also opened in the city of Johor Bahru, second only to the capital in terms of population and bordering Singapore, which in 2018 hosted the One Day Design Challenge for the first time ever.

    The Batang Barjuntai sanitaryware plant has continued to make progress in improving cost performance and has expanded production to meet rising demand in Indonesia.

  • Indonesia

    2018 GDP5.2%
    2019 GDP forecast5.2%
    Population (in millions)263.9
    IDR/EUR trend10.0%
    • Indonesia’s economy continues to grow above 5%, due to increased domestic consumption and investment, both public and private.
    • The economy’s strong performance ensures job creation and a progressive decline in poverty rates and inequality.
    • The building industry continues to grow, bolstered by government promotion of housing construction.

    This is the Group’s first full year of business in Indonesia following the joint venture agreement with two local distributors in 2017. Two main objectives have been achieved: the launch of the Roca brand and the development of customer service infrastructure, plus the construction of a new sanitaryware plant. The brand was presented at various meetings with authorities, professionals and distributors, as well as through sponsorship of architecture and design events. In this first year, the Roca brand was available at 450 outlets on the islands of Java and Bali, and a new Roca showroom is scheduled to open in 2019 in south Jakarta.

    The year 2018 also witnessed completion of the new sanitaryware plant, less than 40 kilometers from Jakarta, and trial production has begun. Inaugurated in 2019, the plant occupies a floor area of over 44,000 square meters and will reach full capacity production of one million pieces.

  • Thailand

    2018 GDP4.1%
    2019 GDP forecast3.5%
    Population (in millions)69.1
    THB/EUR trend0.3%
    • Economic growth was 4.1%, the best figure in six years, thanks mainly to surging domestic consumption and private investment.
    • However, a decline in construction and agricultural activity was in contrast to the growth of industry, trade and services.
    • The first elections since the 2014 coup were held in March 2019, with very narrow results that hampered the formation of a stable government.

    The year has been marked by a boost to the project channel and by a consolidated presence of the Roca brand in major retail chains. The main focus for market penetration is the premium product range, a segment in high demand given the absence of supply in the country—covered by the Group mainly with the Armani/Roca line and smart toilets. These products are being used in major projects awarded during the year, focusing on the luxury segment and backed by the leading distributor in the country.

    Our presence in retail is likewise consolidated through collaboration with the county’s major chains and the opening of new showrooms in the Bangkok metropolitan area and the city of Hat Yai, in the south.

  • Australia

    2018 GDP2.1%
    2019 GDP forecast2.8%
    Population (in millions)24.7
    AUD/EUR trend-6.7%
    • The Australian economy grew by 2.1%, below forecasts because of the fall in domestic consumption and investment. The impact of heavy drought conditions and lower mining investments also contributed to moderating growth.
    • The housing market and residential construction, mostly in Sydney and Melbourne, are in a slowdown phase. The remodeling market continues to perform well.

    The fast-paced launch of high-tech products has positioned Roca as a key innovator in the industry. Another milestone has been the launch of two series of thermostatic faucets—a category with little presence in the Australian market—and In-Wash® Inspira smart toilets, backed by an advertising campaign on a popular home remodeling TV program. Another example of the Group’s innovative offer is the Cyprus shower tray, made with the exclusive STONEX® material, which has been adapted to the regulations and preferences of the local market.

    The project channel includes collaboration with the Hilton hotel chain to furnish the bathroom space of three establishments, which has brought visibility and prestige to the brand.