Big jump in JCB UK sales offsets slowdown in India

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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JCB sales in the UK roared up 50% last year as the housing-led recovery saw plant hirers and contractors renew their fleets.

But JCB warned it faced a tough year ahead on the global stage after posting a 14% fall in pre-tax profits mainly due to a slowdown in India.

Despite suffering a slide, JCB said 2013 still ranked as the third most profitable year in the firm’s 68 year history.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell  from £365m to £313m in 2013, while turnover was flat at £2.68bn.

This represented a 4% fall in machine sales from 69,250 in 2012 to 66,227, mainly due to demand softening in India. At the peak JCB sold 72,000 units.

At home, JCB said the overall UK construction equipment market jumped 50% compared with last year, making it the fastest-growing market for plant in the world.

JCB’s UK operations now represent about 17% of the group’s turnover, with India also generating the same amount following its decline last year.

Chairman Lord Bamford said: “2014 has got off to a mixed start. Some markets are showing improvement, with stronger demand in the more developed markets of the UK and North America, which is offsetting weaker demand in the more fragile economies of Asia, Latin America and Russia.

“Political uncertainty created by elections in India and Brazil is also having an impact on markets.”

The business, which sells machines in over 120 countries, said it would push ahead with its plans for expansion.

A new factory opens in Jaipur in India this month. In the UK the firm will spend £150m later this year to build a 350,000 square foot plant in Uttoxeter, creating 2,500 new jobs by 2018.

JCB also plans to build another factory in Cheadle.

 

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