Steadfast for 135 years
1888 – Establishment of a Cement Plant on the Kremstal Railway
The history of the Kirchdorfer Group begins in 1888 with the founding of the “Portland-Cementwerk Kirchdorf, Hofmann & Comp.” by Emil Dierzer Ritter von Traunthal and Adolf Hofmann. Through the involvement of Linz industrial pioneers in the construction of the Kremstal Railway in 1881 and the discovery of limestone deposits in Obermicheldorf, they leveraged synergies and entered the emerging business of Portland cement. In the subsequent years, additional tiered kilns came into operation, and in 1908, with the construction of the Steyrdurchbruh power plant, not only the cement plant but the entire region around Kirchdorf an der Krems was electrified.
1930s – Diversification with Spun Concrete Plant
While Kirchdorfer Portland Cement was already being delivered to Vienna and Salzburg in its early years, the founders invested in the construction of a centrifugal concrete plant in the neighboring Micheldorf in 1933. This investment was driven by the increasing demand for pole bases with the rise of electricity. Acquiring a patent for the exclusive production of pole bases using the centrifugal concrete method throughout Austria, the Kirchdorfer Group tapped into a new market. This market has essentially been served at the current MABA location up to the present day.
1950s – Growth and investments
In the 1950s, the Kirchdorfer Group experienced considerable growth. Investments in infrastructure and technology, such as the first rotary kiln in Austria and progressive environmental protection measures, contributed to the expansion. New production capacities and a social meeting place for employees were created.
1970s – New Investments, New Partnership
The 1970s began with a major investment in the construction of the centrifugal concrete plant in Micheldorf, which became one of the most modern plants in Central Europe. In 1976, with the entry of Perlmooser Zementwerke, the Kirchdorfer cement plant gained a strong partner, which, to this day, remains involved in the core operations of the Kirchdorfer Group as part of the internationally leading Holcim Group (formerly Lafarge). Simultaneously, this laid the foundation for further growth in the cement business and the subsequent diversification of the Kirchdorfer Group into additional business areas.
1980s – Visionary leadership
The 1980s were shaped by Max I. Machanek, who as Managing Director formed the Kirchdorfer Group into a dynamic and expanding organization. Investments, diversification and shareholdings characterized this era. New business areas such as the Brevillier-Urban stationery factory were developed. The well-known Jolly brand was given a future again.
1984 – New Perspectives with Prefabricated Elements in Eastern Austria
When the concrete prefabricated manufacturer founded by Martin Bartels in 1924, known as “MABA,” and well-established in Wöllersdorf near Wiener Neustadt, was acquired by the Kirchdorfer Group in May 1984, new perspectives with prefabricated elements unfolded. The “MABA Betonwaren Gesellschaft m.b.H. & Co. KG” (today: MABA Fertigteilindustrie GmbH) proved to be a meaningful complement to the centrifugal concrete plant in Upper Austria, opening up a series of new market opportunities—not least due to its central location in Eastern Austria. MABA’s membership in the Association of Austrian Concrete and Prefabricated Plants strengthened the network for synergies and innovations.
Over the following years and decades, MABA Fertigteilindustrie was gradually developed into the leading prefabricated element manufacturer in Austria. This included products such as stairs, residential solutions, vehicle restraint systems, noise protection installations, railway sleepers, masts, columns, and a mix of standard products and large-scale projects. New product lines in tunnel and road construction, as well as environmental products like enature® fish pass, were developed in collaboration with customers.
1990s – International Expansion
The 1990s brought expansion beyond national borders. The takeover of companies in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria as well as in Austria led to strong growth in the areas of sand, gravel, natural stone and ready-mixed concrete – the foundation stone for the raw materials division was laid.
The 1990s were also very eventful at the Kirchdorf cement plant itself: a great deal was invested in productivity, quality and environmental protection for improved emission and noise control. A new low-NOX burner system and a new kiln control system led to a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas CO2 and considerably improved the quality of life for the people of Kirchdorf.
2000s – Innovation and Diversity
The Kirchdorfer Group continued its innovative course in the 2000s. New products in the prefabricated sector, along with strategic partnerships and investments, characterized this era. The entry into the Styrian special precast manufacturer RAUTER, as well as international expansion with the successful DELTABLOC® vehicle restraint systems, drove further growth. The establishment of TIBA Austria GmbH in 2005 laid the foundation for nationwide leadership in Austria in the fields of canal technology, road and house drainage, and environmental technology.
After over a century, the corporate management under Mag. Erich Frommwald finally moved from Linz to the Kirchdorfer cement plant site. In 2007, the new corporate headquarters was built with an impressive concrete facade designed by the artist Thomas M. Mayrhofer from Scharnstein and implemented by RAUTER Fertigteilbau.
2010 / 2012 – Expansion
The Kirchdorfer Group thinks in terms of generations and invests even in economically difficult times. 2010 sees the takeover of Katzenberger Beton und Fertigteilwerke GmbH in Gerasdorf. Their products are an ideal addition to the building construction sector of the Kirchdorfer precast division.
Another milestone is the opening of the new administrative headquarters in Wöllersdorf on May 23, 2012. The history of the site dates back to 1815 as a “fireworks factory”. The listed building is being completely renovated and revitalized with great attention to detail. Behind the impressive white façade, several storey ceilings with modern technology for 150 workstations are being installed. Modernity meets tradition.
2016 – Breakthrough in Environmental Sustainability
In 2016, the Kirchdorfer cement plant installed the world’s first plant to combine industrial exhaust air purification and heat recovery using an award-winning process called DeCONOx. The energy generated from the waste heat is fed 100% into the local district heating network and supplies over 800 households throughout the year. This corresponds to around a fifth of Kirchdorf’s total district heating requirements. The vision of the “world’s most resource-conserving and lowest-emission cement plant” has thus become a reality in Kirchdorf.
2017 – New family member KAMMEL
In fall 2017, the Kirchdorfer Group acquires a majority stake in Kammel Ges.m.b.H. in Obergrafendorf, district of Hartberg. The prefabricated cellar specialist has stood for quality and reliability in Eastern Styria for over 50 years. With the new family member, Kirchdorfer is taking over another circulation system with high capacity for the production of double wall elements and is thus further expanding its market position and production capabilities as a leading manufacturer of precast concrete elements for the Austrian market.
2019 – towards further growth with „Kirchdorfer Road & Traffic”
The agendas of the dynamically growing DELTABLOC International GmbH, including its seven foreign subsidiaries, are outsourced to a separate “Kirchdorfer Road & Traffic” division in order to strategically drive forward the international growth of DELTABLOC® concrete guidance systems and the PHONOBLOC® noise protection portfolio. With “STEELBLOC®”, a new steel plank product line is also being launched.
2022 – Dual leadership for the Kirchdorfer Group
As of the beginning of the year, Hofmann Holding GmbH – the operating company of the Kirchdorfer Group – is managed by two managing directors. In addition to Erich Frommwald, who has been the sole managing director of the group since 2004, Michael Wardian, managing director of Kirchdorfer Fertigteilholding GmbH, was appointed as the second managing director. A dual leadership was essential due to the size and complexity of the company, which now consists of several divisions and over 50 individual companies.
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