When the 34-year-old
Alois Berchtold married the widow of a brickworks owner in Wertingen in 1884 and started making plain tiles, nobody could have dreamt that the successful international brand Creaton would one day evolve from this alliance. Today Creaton AG looks back on 125 years of expertise in clay roofing tiles.
After the end of the Second World War, the company – now under the name “Josef Berchtold GmbH” – launched into the years of Germany’s Economic Miracle with clay roofing tiles such as the classic “Harmonie” line, and despite having to meet the high demand after the war, the company never compromised on quality. Another “Economic Miracle”, that of the Creaton brand itself, began in 1992 following the merger with the Autenried-based clay roofing tiles manufacturer Ernst Ott GmbH & Co. KG (founded in 1934) to form Creaton.
In 1991 Creaton’s later CEO Alfons Hörmann first took over responsibility as sales and marketing manager, and with his strategic decision in favour of the merger, he set the course for an unparalleled success story. Under his management, the company systematically expanded its technology and marketing, advancing to one of the market, innovation and quality leaders in Germany as well as a European market leader in the plain tile sector. With around 50 new products, in the anniversary year 2009 Creaton is again impressively underscoring its innovative strength despite these difficult economic conditions.
With the “Noblesse” stained tile collection and the “Nuance” engobed tile collection, in 1993 the clay roofing tile manufacturer started an extremely successful cooperation with the colour designer Friedrich Ernst v. Garnier. v. Garnier’s finely graduated colour shades – 60 for “Noblesse” alone and initially another 18 for “Nuance” – brought colour to our roofs.
From Bavaria to every corner of the world
In 1995 Creaton went public, setting the course for the continuation of its success story. Back in 1994 the company started a major offensive in large-area tiles, securing a top spot in the market. In the same year the “Finesse” line of large glazed tiles conquered German roofscapes. In 1998 Creaton acquired its first plant in Guttau in Saxony. The company not only “sets the tone” with its natural clay roofing tiles as its core business, in 2004 it opened a centre of expertise in Weroth (Westerwald) in which innovative ceramic façade elements are produced. On account of the success of the “Tonality” façade system, a second facility was started up on this site in September 2008.
The company’s first foreign plant went on stream in Lenti, Western Hungary, in 2005, and in June 2008 production was started up at a second plant there. With this Hungarian base, Creaton has opened up the important market in Southeast Europe.
At the end of 2005, the Etex Group – one of the leading building materials producers in Europe – acquired Creaton’s common stock. This strengthened the company’s international position and provided a basis for key future strategies. 90 international companies from the building materials industry are organized under the Etex Group roof. On 1 January 2007 Creaton took over management of the brand alliance, which unites the roofing product sales and distribution of its own brand as well as that of the Etex affiliates Meindl and Pfleiderer.
In the years 2007 and 2008 more than € 90 mill. were invested in the modernization and construction of Creaton plants. The projects realized include the construction of second plants in Weroth for the production of façade tiles and in Lenti for the production of pressed roofing tiles, as well as the reconstruction of the parent plant in Wertingen and the takeover of Trost Dachkeramik & Co. KG in Malsch, Baden-Württemberg.
Donations for training
But without the company‘s loyal customers, partners and long-serving associates, these virtues alone would not have been enough to write this unique success story. For this reason, Creaton took the occasion of its anniversary, to support two market partners as representative for the entire industry with donations for their work with trainees in the roofing trade. A total of 125 000 high-quality clay roofing tiles were donated to the German schools for master craftspeople and the training centres of the ZVDH (Central German Roofing Trade Association) and its regional branches so that apprentices and aspiring master roofers can practise roofing surfaces and detail joint work in realistic conditions. In addition, the “Verlagshaus Wohlfarth-Stiftung für Berufsbildung“, a foundation aimed at encouraging work with young trainees in the building materials branch was awarded an anniversary donation of € 12 500.“This is not least a token of our gratitude to our market partners, without whom we should not have been able to celebrate this wonderful anniversary at all”, declared Creaton CEO Alfons Hörmann.