The history of Geberit is a century and a half long: how it was born and where the company of the "masters of water" is going

The history of Geberit begins in 1873 when the craftsman Albert Gebert establishes a tinsmith in Rapperswil, Switzerland.

Starting in 1900, Gebert began the production of sanitary products and taps and in 1905 invented Phönix, the first flush cistern produced in Switzerland, made of wood and lined internally with lead , with metal rinsing bell.

The flush cistern sector, the first of its kind in Switzerland, constitutes the heart of the company: in 1944 the production capacity was 200 flush cisterns per day; at the time around 80 people worked in the company.

In 1952 the first cistern made of synthetic material was invented, in 1964 the first built-in cistern. Always attentive to the topic of hygiene, in 1978 Geberit began producing bidet toilets, among the most complex sanitary products in terms of development, production and marketing, of which today is the market leader in Europe.

In the belief that great potential lies in the union of healthcare technology and design, in 2015 Geberit acquired the Sanitec Group and quickly became one of the largest manufacturers of bathroom ceramics in Europe.

To expand the space, in 1962 the Geberit company moved to its current headquarters in Jona (CH); the old factory is each a cultural center.

The group, today

"Geberit values and objectives have remained substantially unchanged since its origins: a pragmatic approach, high quality and pursuit of excellence still characterize the company's culture today as at the origin.

Wholesalers, construction companies, installers, architects and end customers have relied on the innovative strength of the company for 150 years: always doing better has been our belief since day one, always putting our partners at the centre", explains the CEO < strong>Christian Buhl.

Headquartered in Rapperswil – Jona, listed on the Zurich Stock Exchange since 1999, Geberit is today a global group that operates through 26 production plants, 4 of which are outside the Europe, in the 3 main product lines: sanitary ware, waste and supply systems, ceramic and AquaClean.

Geberit employs over 10,000 people worldwide.

The role of Italy

In 1968 the Italian sales company was founded, and in 1984 the Geberit Information Center was opened in Manno (CH), near Lugano, home to the current Italian sales branch Geberit Marketing e Distribuzione SA.

In 2015 Geberit acquired the Sanitec Group, including around ten prestigious European ceramic brands including the Italian Pozzi-Ginori.

The third most important market of the Group (7% of total turnover) and strategic from a production point of view, Italy has always played a key role in the history of Geberit and will be at the center of the 150th anniversary celebrations , involving all collaborators.

The celebrations for 150 years at the FuoriSalone

“On the occasion of the FuoriSalone, the international reference event for planners and designers to which all our Italian customers, bathroom furniture showrooms and installers will also be invited, the Waterscape multimedia installation in the Superstudio Lounge, via Tortona 27, will show the unique experience acquired by Geberit in masterfully "governing" the properties of water in the bathroom" explains Giorgio Castiglioni, General Manager Geberit Marketing and Distribution SA.

A phygital approach, which brings together digital technologies and physical reality, and transports visitors to discover the brand: "at the entrance, an immersive installation curated by NEO Narrative Environments Operas will capture the audience in a natural, strong and powerful liquid vortex, and then continue in a narrative area with the timeline and milestones of Geberit's evolution.

Finally, it will be possible to interactively discover the new features in the 3 Geberit worlds - toilet area, sink area and shower area - and its synergistic solutions inside and outside the wall: from the AquaClean Alba bidet toilet, a smart solution proposed at a competitive price and therefore accessible to a varied target which offers an innovative lifestyle and space optimization, to the mix and match possible for the Acanto, Icon washbasin and furniture collections > and One, which multiplies the degrees of freedom in the purchasing choice of the 3 main Geberit series, up to the new generation Acanto TurboFlush toilet, the jewel in the crown of Geberit flushing technology.

The flow of water is optimized starting from the cistern through the toilet to the waste pipe: the cistern and the ceramic toilet are perfectly coordinated, exceeding the rinsing performance required by European legislation up to ten times".

“The celebrations will continue in the events planned for the second half of the year at our 2 Italian factories, Gaeta, the group's ceramic production hub and Villadose, dedicated to the production of highly innovative exhaust systems, reserved for our employees” – concludes Giorgio Castiglioni.

Predictions for 2024

In 2024, the critical issues in the construction sector for new constructions are expected to continue, but a more robust development is estimated in the renovation sector, which represents approximately 60% of Geberit sales.

The expected reduction in interest rates over the course of the year and the structural trend towards higher healthcare standards should positively stimulate demand in Europe, while in non-European markets where Geberit is active, the objective for 2024 remains to earn further market shares.