Water treatment manufacturer and distributor Waterco Limited (ASX:WAT) is marking its 40th milestone by reflecting on the tenacity that saw it survive everything from shoestring budgets and factory fires to a global economic crisis and ongoing pandemic.
Starting in 1981 selling PVC pipes in Sydney with three staff and one truck driver, Waterco now employs 715 people globally including 476 staff in its 211,125sqm Malaysian manufacturing facilities. It is also the founding franchisor of Swimart, one of Australasia’s biggest — and oldest — pool and spa networks.
Despite facing a number of industrial, economic and environmental challenges, Waterco founder and CEO, Soon Sinn Goh says the company continues to innovate, expand and diversify.
“We celebrate our 40 years in business in a position of strength, having survived recessions, economic downturns, two factory fires and one pandemic,” he explains.
Waterco is known as a dominant player in the international swimming pool and water treatment sectors, which Goh attributes to the company’s innovative engineering and efficient manufacturing processes.
“This enables us to deliver high quality, durable products to over 40 countries around the world,” he says.
“Thanks to our loyal staff, customers, investors and Swimart franchise partners, we are now able to proudly position ourselves as a successful Australian company competing effectively on a global scale with the major players in each of the international markets in which we operate – many of which are significantly larger than Waterco.”
From single retail shop to manufacturing and technological powerhouse
Waterco’s water and energy saving innovations, including its proprietary injection moulding techniques, continue to set benchmarks in the industrial water treatment and aquaculture industries. The company’s Micron Fibreglass Commercial Filters are the largest found in the market today while its Climate Care Certified range of products provide consumers with energy and water saving solutions.
“We will continue to invest heavily in research and development, machinery and technology to create products of the future, enabling Waterco to be more competitive and enter new markets in the essential water treatment sector,” said Goh.
Key company milestones
1974 Soon Sinn Goh graduates from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Commerce
1981 Soon Sinn Goh migrates to Australia from Malaysia
1981 Commenced trading as Dronaco and distributing PVC pipes and fittings to the pool and spa industry
1983 Opens first retail store called Swimart
1986 Commences business as a Franchisor of Swimart pool and spa franchise network
1986 Acquires Zane Solar and enters the solar heating market
1987 Changes Dronaco to Waterco Pty Ltd.
1989 Floats on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: WAT)
1990 Commenced manufacturing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia operating as Waterco Far East
2000 Acquires Watercare Division of Asia Pacific Chemicals Limited
2003 Acquires Lacron, Britain’s largest manufacturer of pressure sand filters
2005 Acquires Focus Temp and increases Waterco’s market share in Canada and the United States
2006 Opens manufacturing plants in China and Far East to meet escalating demand from Europe
2007 MultiCyclone awarded the Piscina Barcelona Sustainability Award
2012 Acquires Pool and Spa Poppits Pty Ltd.
2019 Acquires SolarMate Sdn Bhd. in Malaysia
2020 Acquires Automated Pool Products Pty Ltd. distributor of Kreepy Krauly pool cleaners
2021 Celebrates 40 years in business