Saniflo | “We are a niche player but looking to become mass market”

MD of Saniflo UK David Cook outlines his five-year growth plans, including development of Kinedo, enhancing customer experience, and relocation to larger HQ

26 Jun, 24

MD of Saniflo UK David Cook outlines his five-year growth plans, including development of Kinedo, enhancing customer experience, and relocation to larger HQ premises

Saniflo appoints David Cook MD

Following a six-month induction, former sales director of Baxi Heating David Cook took the reins of Saniflo UK as managing director at the beginning of 2024.

Bringing his trade experience to the new role, and having developed a five-year business plan, Cook is seeking to improve customer experience, to achieve sales growth, reporting he is building on a solid foundation: “Good news is we’re above budget for the first half of the year.”

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Saniflo and Kinedo

Part of the €330million turnover SFA Group, Saniflo UK offers Saniflo branded macerator and pumps, alongside Kinedo shower enclosures, cubicles, shower trays and Kinewall wall panelling.

Saniflo HQ

Saniflo UK has plans to outgrow its HQ in Watford and move to larger premises


The vast majority of the business, around 90% is pump-orientated, but David Cook says there is still opportunity for growth, highlighting an increase in garden offices with people now working from home.

“There has been a 56% increase in Google searches for houses with a garden office. We do a Sanifos unit, which can pump 100m to a normal sewer. So, now you can have a garden office with a kitchenette and a toilet.”

However, Cook suggests greater sales growth can be delivered by the Kinedo range, pointing out: “As a player within the macerator market, we have a good market share, and we’re a known brand. Whereas Kinedo, for me, is one of our best kept secrets”.

He continues: “There are very few competitors that have the whole range from a shower tray to an enclosure, to wall panelling or a cubicle. We literally do end-to-end”.

Kinewall leads Kinedo

Most recently, the company has added Kinewall panelling to its Kinedo brand, which was six months in development but is already exceeding sales expectations.

Kinewall wall panelling

Kinewall is available in 70 decors, including this Floral design


Available in 70 decors, 22 are held in stock and supplied exclusively through distributor Ideal Bathrooms. “Kinewall has been a real success for us”, exclaims David Cook. “We’ve got a number of displaying showrooms already up and running. We are now starting to get repeat orders coming through, which is good.”

He adds: “I’m very keen that if you’ve created demand then the last thing you want to do is not be able to service it.

“Hence why on Kinewall we’ve teamed up with Ideal Bathrooms as a national distributor to be able to get one panel next day anywhere in the UK.

“I think by summertime we should be in a position to decide whether a wider stock is available through Ideal Bathrooms or do we go to market with an exclusive palette for another distributor?”

He explains the success of Kinewall is due to its “uniqueness” as it measures 3mm thickness and offers an 11 kg lift weight, whereas its competitors measure up to 20mm thick with double the lift weight. “We have a lot of uniqueness and it’s about getting that message out wide to the marketplace”, says Cook.

Leveraging shower trays

In fact, David Cook believes this “uniqueness” will also enable Kinedo to leverage the points of difference of its existing shower tray proposition.


Kineline is one of three shower tray ranges in the Kinedo brand, and comes in three installation options and five colours


“We manufacture them all ourselves in Northern Italy and are able to be cut on site, so in essence our shower trays can pretty well fit in any space.” Cook explains there is opportunity for further sales growth, commenting: “We don’t hold a large market share – yet. We will grow and it will be significant volume.

“We have got three ranges, with each range featuring five colours, and 30 SKUs.”

He explains the company will have a smaller range in stock, available in three working days, and a larger range not held in stock but available in 10 working days.

Cook states the supplier-trade customer relationship is not only based on availability but being clear about the product proposition.

Interestingly, while Kinedo offers a wide choice of shower trays to suit a variety of spaces, the brand is looking to rationalise its enclosure range.

David Cook comments: “We’re looking to reduce our range and be more specialised instead of trying to be all things to all people. When you look at the overall enclosure market, where almost one million enclosures are sold – they are predominantly pivot door or sliding door. We pretty much have every variation possible.

“It’s probably making choice a bit more confusing for consumers and the installer. So could we build a better customer experience by being a bit more focused on a smaller range?”

Enhancing customer experience

It forms part of a bigger piece of work around the customer journey. The experience of consumers, retailers, merchants and installers have not only been assessed in terms of product offer but sales and technical support offered by Saniflo UK.


The Brooklyn shower cubicle comes with pivot or sliding door in a choice of profile colour, shower and glazing


Measuring against the construction industry, David Cook says: “Pleasingly, we are punching above our weight. Our call rates are answered well above the norm in the marketplace – now we need to work on the practical support and what value it adds.”

Offering an example, David Cook says: “When you look at a merchant – they have got 50,000 product lines they have got to be thinking about. So they can never be a master of all of that. It’s our responsibility as manufacturers to provide that information for them.”

Saniflo already provides customer training, but the company is looking ahead to introduce a training academy, as it grows, along with a move into bigger HQ premises.

“Our growth plans are showing this is the trajectory we want to go. As we stand here today, and we look over the last 9-10 months, we are already on the path for a move to a new building in the next three years”, says Cook.

Kinedo growth plans

In terms of growth, Kinedo is seeking to increase the sale of units over a five-year period. “We are a niche player at the moment but looking to become a mass market product”, explains David Cook.

Will there be more product categories added into the Kinedo mix? “That’s the million dollar question”, says David Cook, adding: “The SFA Group also manufactures sauna, steam rooms and hot tubs.

“I would love to get into all of that as well in the UK but I think we need to take time to build and service the marketplace.

“If you look at hot tubs – potentially they could be sold through garden centres or specialist retailers. So, yes, there could be more to come but it will be more niche and outside of our traditional market.”

Retail and installers

Pointing out the importance of the bathroom retailer as part of the company’s growth in its traditional markets, Cook states: “I think we need to grow the retail base.

Saniflo Q & A | Entering the wall panel market with Kinewall

Kinewall measures 3mm deep and has an 11kg lift weight, with 21 decors available from stock via Ideal Bathrooms


“Consumers are creatures of habit. Everybody can go online and see something but the important part is touching the product and seeing it in a live situation. We are working hard to ensure retailers nationwide have access to the whole range of Kinedo products. “

However, he cites the equal importance of the installer in the purchasing decision. “The installer has quite an influence in that purchasing decision with the consumer. If an installer finds a product is easier to fit, they may look to try and switch sell the consumer.

“How often would a consumer challenge the competence of an installer? So installers are very important to that whole customer journey.”

Cook puts some statistics to this: “There are over 50,000 installers in the UK fitting about 10-13 bathrooms a year. If you start doing the numbers, that’s where the influence could be. How often would a consumer challenge the competence of an installer?”

Such is the belief in the significance of the installer in consumer buying decisions Saniflo is taking a 66sqm stand at InstallerSHOW, featuring both Saniflo and Kinedo brands, which is double the size of its previous outings at the show.

In fact, David Cook points out the biggest challenge will be getting out to deliver its message to its wide audience quickly enough. However, he has plans to build on the 12-strong sales team, with two further people set to be employed before the end of the year.

Within the top five markets in the SFA Group, which has subsidiaries in 30 countries, what will be the benchmark of success?

David Cook points out quite simply: “Three things. Growth in volume, growth in market share and ultimately then a move to our next premises”.

He concludes: “It’s all achievable; it’s just about focus”