Hermann Franke establishes a sheet-metal business in Rorschach, Switzerland.
During the First World War it is difficult to obtain material for production. The post-war period and economic crisis delay development of the business.
Recovery of industrial and construction sectors. Addition of a sanitary installations department. Manufacture of hobs, skylights and dormer windows.
General slump. First sinks produced in nickeline, monel metal and later stainless steel.
Construction of a new factory, offices and residential building in Aarburg. 10 employees.
Economic upswing boosts sales. Beginning of series production and launch of first fully welded, flush-mounted sink.
Hermann Franke dies on 25 January 1939. Son Walter (picture) takes over the business. Second World War leads to renewed difficulties with materials sourcing. Stagnating construction activity. Start of production for industrial applications (incl. engine components). 100 employees.
Expansion of manufacturing facilities and production of complete kitchens (Mövenpick). First exports to neighboring countries. Workforce increase to 250.
Good development of the construction sector. The sales of all products increase. First investments in Germany (foreign plant). 400 employees.
Further expansion of the manufacturing facilities in Europe. Output doubles. Formation of the Commercial Kitchen Catering department. 750 employees.
Marked expansion of the Franke Group. 13 new subsidiaries and two license companies established in Europe. In 1972 Franke builds and installs the first kitchen for McDonald's in Munich. 2,600 employees.
In 1975 change of ownership at Franke: Walter Franke's friend and business partner Willi Pieper (picture) takes over. Four subsidiaries and two licenses are added, including USA. In 1979 the now world-renowned Franke Compact sink system is introduced. In order to secure the growth and development, Franke is structured into divisions in 1988.
Michael Pieper, Willi Pieper's son, becomes CEO, and 1990 owner of the Franke Group. Under his leadership, rapid and systematic expansion of the core businesses worldwide takes place. Focused on their core competences, the Kitchen Systems Division and Franke Contract Group (now Franke Foodservice Systems) become global market leaders in their respective sectors.
Franke repositions its strategy and structure. The divisions are given more autonomy and responsibility. Three further core businesses are identified and organized to secure and build on the success of Franke: Franke Washroom Systems, Franke Coffee Systems and Franke Beverage Systems.
Franke celebrates its first hundred years of entrepreneurship.
Michael Pieper hands over the leadership of the operational business of the Franke Group to Alexander Zschokke and becomes President/CEO and owner of the Artemis Group that consists of Franke Group/Artemis Real Estate Group/Artemis Asset Manage-ment Group and Feintool Group.
Franke has 72 subsidiaries with more than 9’000 employees in 37 countries and generates consolidated sales of CHF 2.1 billion.