With its companies EgoKiefer, Wertbau, Slovaktual and Dobroplast, the Windows Division is one of Europe’s leading window manufacturers. Production takes place in the division’s own plants in Germany, Slovakia, Poland and, until the end of 2017, Switzerland. In its target markets, the division operates its own decentralised sales organisations and relies on extensive dealer networks. The four companies offer customised window systems made of wood, wood /aluminium, vinyl, vinyl /aluminium and aluminium, designed to accommodate any need. Complementing the extensive range of window products are lift-and-slide doors, exterior doors as well as ventilation and shade solutions. The products stand out due to their quality, durability as well as extensive design and equipment options. They also ensure maximum energy efficiency thanks to their compliance with state-of-the art standards for thermal insulation.

Market trends

During the reporting year, the division was able to increase its revenue by 5.9% from CHF 331.4 million in the previous year to CHF 350.8 million. When adjusted for currency and acquisition effects, however, this represents decline of – 1.2%. The division’s EBITDA increased from CHF – 8.2 million in the previous year to CHF 8.2 million. Without special effects, EBITDA rose from CHF 6.6 million in the previous year to CHF 7.6 million. EBIT grew from CHF – 122.4 million to CHF – 5.0 million, while EBIT without special effect amounted to CHF – 5.9 million (previous year: CHF – 8.0 million).

The ongoing transformation process and the market environment that continued to be demanding, particularly in Switzerland, once again presented major challenges for the Windows Division in the reporting year. Nevertheless, the division achieved the milestones of the road map announced in August 2015, and key projects advanced significantly.

Although the division was forced to operate in an intense competitive environment with resulting pricing pressure, EgoKiefer was able to increase its sales volume in its domestic market of Switzerland. In addition to the suspension of the euro cap, matters were exacerbated by the fact that Swiss competitors had expanded their production capacity and were making fierce efforts to use as much of it as possible, leading to a further increase in domestic pricing pressure.

During the reporting year, EgoKiefer set a suitable course for positive development on the Swiss market. Following its announcement in 2015, the relocation of vinyl window production from Villeneuve (CH) to Pravenec (SK) was successfully completed; meanwhile, preparations for the 2017 relocation of wood /aluminum window production from Altstätten (CH) to Langenwetzendorf (D) are continuing to proceed as planned. EgoKiefer’s sales organisation also underwent optimisation and was altered during the reporting year to achieve sustained success. In addition to these restructuring measures, there was a focus on developing various product innovations that are set to be launched on the market over the course of 2017.

The German market experienced positive growth. However, the moderate market growth is being overcompensated by the ever increasing number of windows that are being imported (primarily from Poland). In the reporting year, volume grew 12 % to approximately 14 million window units. This was driven by projects involving new buildings, something which in turn had a positive impact on revenue development within Wertbau’s direct business. In contrast to the positive trend in the new buildings segment, the renovation market – an area on which many specialist partners are focusing – stagnated in Germany. As a result, this area of Wertbau’s business recorded a slightly negative performance during the reporting year.

Revenue on the Slovakian market grew considerably in 2016, with Slovaktual reinforcing its leading position accordingly. The division experienced considerable growth in the area of vinyl and vinyl /aluminium windows in particular.

Sales in Poland stagnated, whereas Dobroplast was able to increase its revenue in export markets, achieving a slight gain overall. For example, Dobroplast made gains in the Czech Republic, while Slovaktual, like many manufacturers in the euro zone, had to endure a decline in revenue in this market as a result of a weak Czech koruna.

Products, technology and innovation

2016 was dominated by the development of the technical platform for the division’s new wood /aluminium window system. This represented its first joint cross-company and cross-market product development, with employees from both EgoKiefer and Wertbau contributing expertise in equal measure. This new, shared platform, designed for German-speaking markets, will create synergy effects to be exploited in the areas of development, procurement, production and processing. A consistently implemented platform strategy will boost the range of versions available to customers, but production will also become less complex across all the processes. The new wood / aluminium window system is set to be launched in Switzerland and Germany in 2017. Within these two target markets, the diversity of this system will make it possible to accommodate a wide range of market requirements and segments as effectively as possible. Preparations have also been made for an entirely new range of wood and wood / aluminium doors, which will be presented for the first time during the second quarter of 2017 in Switzerland.

Dobroplast in Zambrow (PL) has established a new production line in order to ensure that it is delivering optimum standards of process reliability and product quality. This new line is making it possible to create stronger links between the processes involved in vinyl window production, and coordinate them more effectively. The first products will be launched on the market in 2017.


Sustainable operations are one of the pillars of the Windows Division: by delivering superior standards of thermal insulation, its products ensure that heating and cooling energy in buildings uses resources as economically as possible.

At every site, window production is carried out with environmental issues taken into consideration. Wertbau, for example, operates its own cogeneration station at the Langenwetzendorf (D) plant. Here, wood waste and chippings are collected in a silo and converted into heat energy. Additionally, a photovoltaics plant with an output of approximately 455 kW covers some of the company’s electricity supply.

Dobroplast has installed a coextrusion line for vinyl profiles at its site in Zambrow (PL); this not only manufactures profiles with outstanding efficiency, but also conforms to the very latest sustainability standards. This plant makes it possible to recycle the vinyl waste that is created during window production, protecting the environment more effectively and optimising costs.


A Swiss market environment that continued to present demanding conditions, plus the ongoing transformation programme, made 2016 a challenging year. The Windows Division is on course to see its restructuring activities reach their conclusion in 2017. The process of establishing an integrated production network – containing a competence centre for wood and wood/aluminium windows in Germany, two competence centres for vinyl and vinyl/aluminium windows in Slovakia and Poland, and a service shop for special solutions in Switzerland – means that the coming year is once again expected to present additional sour-ces of stress. Despite this, the division believes that the EBITDA margin can be increased considerably in 2017.

The combination of modern equipment and traditional craftsmanship enables us to produce windows and doors for different applications.

Ján Gombarček,

shift supervisor, with Slovaktual since 2014

EgoKiefer – Reinforcedservice offering for windows

In 2016, EgoKiefer’s efforts were on enhancing its service business and reinforcing customer relationships. It delivers everything from customised consulting, professional project management, construction site logistics and installation through to its FensterTürenService for windows and doors, whose 50 mobile joinery units ensure that the company can attend to customers’ needs round the clock also after installation.

Slovaktual – Construction of new insulating glass production facility

At the vinyl production competence centre in Pravenec (SK), planning has begun for a new insulating glass production facility. Over an area of 12000 square metres, the company is developing one of the most state-of-the-art plants in Central Europe, which is set to commence operation at the end of 2017.

Dobroplast – Installation of a new coextrusion line for vinyl profiles

Thanks to the new extrusion line for vinyl profiles, production capacity is increasing. Moreover, it is now possible to recycle the vinyl waste created during window production, to the benefit of both, the environment and raw materials cost.

Wertbau – Final delivery for the Berlin City Palace

One of the biggest projects in Wertbau’s history has reached a successful conclusion. The process of rebuilding the Berlin Palace involved deliveries of oak sections measuring up to 2.8 metres in width and up to 6.6 metres in height.

© Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss / Architekt: Franco Stella.