“Our customers should be better off with our products than without.” That is the vision, guiding principle and mission of the owner of PREFA, Cornelius Grupp. Since 1981 he has been successfully running the traditional company in the idyllic Traisental region – between the lower Austrian state capital of St. Pölten and the pilgrimage site of Mariazell. PREFA, meanwhile, has been around for over 70 years.
PREFA has its roots in the post-war reconstruction era, nearly 200 miles away in Salzburg. The landscapes and cityscapes of Europe in the mid-40s were characterised by extensive war damage, destroyed roofs and broken shingles. The inventive tinsmith Alois Gödl was on an intensive search for new materials and ways to develop a durable roof. He experimented a lot with different metals in his workshop. Soon his choice fell on aluminium: the properties of this material were impressive even then. Gödl worked on the material and finally formed a roof tile modelled on roof shingles, by means of pressing and folding, and so this new innovation in roofing was born. The process also gave PREFA its name: an amalgamation of the German word for pressing (Pressen) and folding (Falzen). The first roofs were quickly covered with the new product, and you can still admire those PREFA roofs in the city of Salzburg to this day.
About ten years after it was founded, Gödl’s materials supplier, the rolling mill Fried. v. Neumann, took over the company and brought its headquarters to Lower Austria. In 1998, the expansion to Germany took place with the opening of the production plant in Wasungen, Thuringia.