JCB defies construction slump to record highest-ever profits
Digger manufacturer saw sales in Africa double, resulting in turnover of £2.7 billion
Although JCB experienced weak construction equipment sales in some areas of the world, it saw business in Africa double and registered growth of 12 per cent in the Middle East. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Digger manufacturer JCB has defied a slump in the global construction market to record the highest profits in its 67-year history.
The family-owned company saw its 2012 earnings rise to £365 million (€428 million) on turnover which remained virtually unchanged from the previous year at £2.7 billion (€3.2 billion).
Although the Staffordshire-based manufacturer experienced weak construction equipment sales in some areas of the world, it saw business in Africa double and registered growth of 12 per cent in the Middle East.
Announcing the results, JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: “In view of the continued fragility of the global economy, which has led to renewed slowdowns in emerging and developed markets, JCB’s results in 2012 are extremely encouraging.
“They not only demonstrate the resilience of our business, but highlight the importance of continued investment in products, facilities and customer service.
“While construction equipment markets in many parts of the world remained weak, that has been more than offset by strong growth for our agricultural products, particularly in materials handling.”
Despite continuing uncertainty, particularly in European economies, 2013 had started satisfactorily, JCB said,
Sir Anthony added: “We are expecting some growth this year but how much will depend on the pace of the global recovery.”
Last year’s record results eclipsed earnings of £355 million (€416 million) in 2011. Figures for sales of machines also rose slightly to 69,250, from 69,100 in 2011, amid a global market which is estimated to have contracted by around 10 per cent.
During 2012, JCB opened a new factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil and announced plans for a new £62 million (€73 million) plant in Jaipur, India, which is due to open next year.