Published On: Thu, May 5th, 2022

Robert Thiroff Managing Director at Profine UK

Facts and Figures:

First Job: Apprentice carpenter at R Durtnell & Sons, the oldest building company in the world!

When did you join or set up current company: I joined profine UK in April, 2008.

Most useful/favourite gadget: Either my phone or my longstanding filofax!

Favourite/most useful website: DeepL Translate – to expand my relatively limited German, but also for our business interests in the Far East. 

Business person you admire: It might sound a little indulgent, but Dr Peter Mrosik owner and CEO of profine Group. He’s one of the most highly motivating, engaging, and charismatic leaders I’ve ever dealt with. His work ethic, passion and ability to influence businesses through change management is remarkable too.

Recommended hotel for business: AC Hotel by Marriott Huntsville Downtown. Super clean and super friendly!

Favourite UK restaurant: The Coach and Horses Brixworth. Superb service and legendary blade of beef.

Best business decision: Joining profine Group. We turned the UK business round during an economic downturn and then my international role took my out of my comfort zone and I’ve learnt a huge a lot since by sharing ideas across businesses and continents. 

Other interests: Renovating furniture, gardening and the enjoying the great outdoors away from our technologically laden life.

Working Day

Like most senior executives in this great industry my working day is quite long and given that I have additional responsibilities in the Far East and in North America for profine Group, I’m always working to time zones. I’m typically an early riser which allows me to access any messages first thing, so that I can action them quickly. 

I’ve have a 50-minute commute into the office which again allows for phone calls and once at the base in Huthwaite, I make sure I take time to speak to department heads at the beginning of the day. Most days involve liaison with departments, customers, inevitable meetings but also interaction with the group in Germany, before I typically look to leave between 6-7pm. 

Working Location

Although I have a home office which is used either end of the day for my group responsibilities, I have an office next to our new executive entrance at our facility in Huthwaite. We’ve looked at the flow of personnel in and out of the business and added an additional entrance for senior staff, customers, suppliers and business partners.

My office has a large screen for video conferencing and obviously the space for confidential meetings. The site at Huthwaite is undergoing change as we invest across the business, thanks to the resources of profine Group and so my working location is enjoying a change for the better, which has been very warmly received by staff across all business functions. 


Trading over the last 12 months has been very strong, but this has been fueled by a sustained period of accelerated consumer demand, whilst also being subject to the economic factors of raw material supply and price increases. It’s been an unprecedented period for the window and door industry and still glass shortages are plaguing the sector with no real sign of abating until well into Q1 next year.

Top line performance for the business has been excellent, but the detail shows that the EBITDA has been affected by these raw material price surcharges and increased labour costs to cope with demand. However, that said we are working closely with the group COO, Christian Amling, and have a programme in place to invest across the business, particularly with the extrusion function where we are looking to build a world-class facility for the group, with opportunities for export too. We’ve also got a recruitment programme that will look to bring in and train staff across all aspects of the business, as we look to invest in those that work for profine here in the UK and as a good and honorable employer.

It’s difficult to predict how the industry will fare over the next 12 months and we’re planning a cautious budget for 2022, based on a number of scenarios, but also a year in which we’ll be exhibiting at the FIT Show with a sizeable stand. This will also be the 125-year anniversary of the KÖMMERLING brand, and we’ll be looking to celebrate this with our valued customers across the course of the year and so 2022 will be one of the most important years for us in the UK for some years now.

The FIT Show will allow us to showcase an expanded product range that includes the KÖMMERLING 70 platform including the new super energy efficient flush sash, KÖMMERLING 76, KÖMMERLING VS, PremiLine with several well-engineered enhancements and the size and scale offered by the lift and slide PremiDoor. Outside of our KÖMMERLING brand there is also the broad Legend window and door platform which also benefits from a recycled core 

We’ll also be looking to take a range of products that can achieve Passive House including our latest hybrid AluClip Pro variants, along with showcasing the new proStratoTec technology developed with global chemical and material experts, BASF. With the forthcoming changes to building regulations part of a longer-term requirement to drive down U-values, our group strategy we believe will serve us well and we’ve already translated our dedicated Passive House brochures into many different languages. 

With Fensterbau also back on the agenda for 2022, there will inevitably be a number of new product launches that we can also consider for the UK market, and this will be held 29th March to 1st April in Nuremburg. For those that have visited the event before, the size and scale of the trade fair is considerable and the party night at the show, particularly on the profine stand is always a must with food, a bar and evening entertainment.

At present while we have bold plans for the remainder of this year and for next, the current challenges across the industry need to be reflected in product pricing and unfortunately price increases for raw materials have had to be passed on and we’re certainly not alone in the industry from this perspective. If you speak to installers some are working 6 or even 7 days a week to cope with enquiry levels and what was supposed to be a short-term spike has now morphed into one where there’s a long-term demand and indeed a trend for consumers to invest in their homes. With home working set to become more prevalent than ever before, this is likely to fuel the continued thirst for home improvement by consumers throughout 2022 and beyond. 

Underpinning all this is a demand for better products which is good news for all those customers that promote the KÖMMERLING brand. The new flush sash which has 6 chambers, and a pseudo 7th, is a case in point as we look towards the challenges that the new building regulations will bring. We can achieve a U-value of 1.2 W/(m2K) across the KÖMMERLING 70 platform including the flush sash, while we are also looking to the future with KÖMMERLING 76. 

The industry is without question facing some of the most rigorous challenges for decades and that’s often resulted in longer working hours and the stress that comes with it. In times of crisis, it’s important for companies to look for support from their respective supply chain as we look not only to retain our mantle as the best provider of well-engineered PVCu systems, but also as a trusted business partner for the future. 

The investment programme planned by the group is considerable and later this year we’ll start to enjoy the fruits of this and also from the investment in the KÖMMERLING brand to make us an even better business partner for the future. There’s much to unveil in 2022, in what I believe will be our most exciting year ever in the UK, but at the same time we’re humble enough to understand the many business challenges our customers are facing from all four corners of the industry. Hopefully this festive break will be one in which the industry can slow down a little, re-group and plan for 2022 with considerable optimism and consistency.