The only way is up at Onduline
Nine months into his role as managing director of Onduline Building Products and Paul Duy’s plans to
reshape the company is coming together as it experiences significant growth. RCI spoke to Paul to find out
what the manufacturer of bituminous corrugated roofing materials has achieved and its plans for the future
Nine months in and Paul Duffy
is a managing director
who is looking up. And
that’s not just because the
business he’s in charge of is one
selling roofing solutions.
His plan to re-energise the
long-established Onduline Building
Products (Onduline) is shaping up
well with the company on a trajectory
for future growth.
Founded in France in 1944, Onduline
manufactures bituminous corrugated
roofing materials, claiming 95% of global
production in bitumen sheets.
Its lightweight eco-friendly
roofing system is used worldwide for
agricultural, industrial, leisure and DIY
While maintaining a profitable
position, sales in the UK in recent years
have been solid rather than where they
could be, said Paul.
“The good news was that while the
business had been losing market share, it
wasn’t to direct competitors,” he said.
“It happened because we had not
been in touch with customers enough.
They were beginning to forget us as noone
was consistently calling on them.”
Paul has addressed this by reshaping
the UK team, making a series of
new appointments and, in March,
establishing a revised structure. All of
this, alongside introducing a fresh,
The changes included the newlycreated
role of head of marketing
and exploring digital routes to
“We needed to get better at
telling the Onduline story, to
increase brand awareness and our
exposure in the marketplace,” Paul said.
“Also, for our sales team to re-engage
with the roofing merchants and specialist
distributors who sell our products.”
A key selling point of the Onduline
roofing system is that it is made from
50% to 60% of recycled materials.
“Compared to many other roofing
products we have one of the best carbon
footprints in the industry,” Paul said.
An opportunity for growth
Onduline in the UK is based in the
city of London, while the products are
manufactured at various sites in Europe.
When Paul took up the managing
director position, he brought with him
over 20 years’ sales experience in the
construction materials sector.
Onduline is one of the lightweight
roofing segment leaders in the UK for
the timber frame buildings market, from
the equestrian and agricultural sectors,
to log cabins and orangeries, to sheds,
summer houses and pergolas, but Paul
believes it could do even better.
One other area with ‘huge
opportunities’ is under-roofing for very
low pitch applications. This is where
the underlay system is installed below
the tile, slate or shingle roof coverings,
thereby, creating an independent
secondary weatherproof roof.
“It means the pitch can be as low as
12.5°,” said Paul. “It has British Board
of Agrément (BBA) certification, and
is starting to attract questions from
architects and specifiers who are
recognising the benefits, as well as the
“It has big advantages in major cities
like London, Manchester, Birmingham
and Liverpool for example, where there
are height restrictions for buildings. By
putting on a low pitch roof, it means they
can potentially get another storey on.”
So, with a new direction established,
Paul has laid the foundations for a
resurgent Onduline in the UK.
He concluded: “The objective is to
achieve sustained and profitable growth
and stay ahead of our competitors.
“We’ll do that by reaching the right
customers, reinforcing our core markets
and developing new ones.”
Paul Du y
had laid the
for a resurgent
24 www.rcimag.co.uk May 2020