|Traded as||SIX: GEBN|
|Industry||Plumbing parts manufacturing and supplying|
|Founders||Caspar Melchior Gebert|
|Key people||Albert M. Baehny (chairman and CEO)|
|Revenue||CHF 2.00 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||CHF 510.7 million (2013)|
|Profit||CHF 435.8 million (2013)|
|Total assets||CHF 2.23 billion (end 2013)|
|Total equity||CHF 1.66 billion (end 2013)|
|Employees||6,226 (end 2013)|
Geberit (German pronunciation: [ˈɡəbeːrɪt] or [ˈɡəbeːʁɪt]) is a Switzerland-based multinational group specialized in manufacturing and supplying sanitary parts and related systems. It is one of the leading companies in its field in Europe and, through its subsidiaries, one of the most important worldwide.
In 1874, Caspar Melchior Gebert was granted to work as a plumber in Rapperswil, Switzerland. In 1905, he also started to manufacture parts. Its first wood-made cistern for toilet, the Phoenix, lead-coated and with accessories (particularly a flush mechanism) of such material, was revolutionary and a great success, being patented in 1912. Gebert died in 1909, and his sons Albert and Leo continued running the business. During the next years, the company expanded through Switzerland and some foreign markets, incorporating new products (pipes, taps and valves). In the 30s, the company was one of the first to introduce plastic-made parts in the sanitary industry.
In 1953, Heinrich and Klaus Gebert inherited the control of the company and named it Geberit. The company opened a distribution subsidiary and new branches in Europe, which, besides parts, also offered technical services.
The first international subsidiary was opened in 1955, in Pfullendorf, Germany, where was also constructed the first factory outside Switzerland. Germany was considered a market with a strong growth potential. Since then, a number of subsidiaries were created in European countries, including France (1959) and Austria (1965). The company moved from Rapperswil to a larger facility in Rapperswil-Jona and introduced a concealed tank system. In 1972 was open a third plant in Potterbrunn, Austria. The company also created subsidiaries in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.
During the 1970s, Geberit introduced more new products, such as full drainage systems, flush-mounted systems, and new components for the hygiene sector. The company made an attempt to enter into the American market, creating a subsidiary in Michigan, Indiana. However, the presence in United States during the next years was insignificant.
In 1977, the company entered into the installation systems market, which became the most important market of the company. In 1980, to cope with the new necessities, the German facilities were expanded and a warehouse complex was opened at its Rapperswil-Jona headquarters. It also acquired a large company of that market, Sanbloc GmbH. In 1986, it automated its production. In 1989, it acquired a stake in FAE Fluid Air Energy, joining the fresh water supply systems sector.
In 1990, the facilities of Potterbrunn were expanded. In 1994, a new company plant (from the Petrec's subsidiary) was established in Liechtenstein to take advantage of the new markets surged after the end of the Cold War.
In 1991, was appointed the first no-Gebert CEO of the company: Gunter F. Kelm. The company continued its expansion, with new facilities (a new Rapperswil-Jona's facility and a factory for its Mepla brand in Givisiez), and new international subsidiaries (Italy and Portugal).
In 1995, the Geberts sold Geberit to the British private equity firm Doughty Hanson. With the new cash, the company started a series of acquisitions, which included Italy's Deriplast and Walking Pipe Italiana, Germany's Buchler Werkzeugbau AG and United Kingdom's Caradon Terrain Ltd. In 1998, the company opened its first production plant in China.
In 2001, the company suffered because of the weakness of the German market, but soon recovered. In 2002, it acquired a majority stake in the Austrian company Huter Vorfertigung GmbH. In July of that year, with the aim of strengthen its position in the American market, it purchased the company Chicago Faucet at a cost of 33.3 million dollars.
The Geberit share was listed on the Swiss Market Index (SMI) in 2012.
Geberit’s strategy rests on the following four strategic pillars: focus on sanitary technology, commitment to innovation, selective geographic expansion and continuous business process optimization.
For a number of years now, Geberit has been pursuing the three-stage sales model, respectively the push-pull strategy. More specifically, Geberit products are distributed via the wholesale trade, with the company training over 100,000 plumbers and decision-makers each year in its 25 training centers around the world or at external training courses.
To date, Geberit has received a range of awards for the company’s innovative strength, product design and its strong focus on sustainability.
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- International Directory of Company Histories 49. St. James Press. November 2002. pp. 161−163. ISBN 1558624759.
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- Riley, Key (10 July 2002). "Chicago Faucet sells for $33M". chicagobusiness.com. Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Geberit Agrees to Buy Germany's Mapress for EU372.5 Million". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. 12 December 2004. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Awards". Geberit. Retrieved 20 May 2014.