JCB celebrates its recession rebound and its 65th birthday

Posted on 21 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

After emerging with relatively healthy-looking profits from the worst recession in the company’s history, the construction equipment manufacturer also marked its 65th birthday today.

The company reported a return to robust profits after the global construction equipment industry suffered a huge hit to business in 2008-2009. JCB officially marked its 65th anniversary by presenting thousands of employees around the world with a bottle of Château Léoube rosé wine, two glasses and a DVD highlighting the global footprint of a company. The celebration took place today to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the birth of JCB’s Founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford. Joseph started up JCB in a lock-up garage in Uttoxeter near Stoke on Trent.

The company’s acknowledgement of employee contribution is a timely demonstration of the firm’s awareness of the importance of employee engagement. A CBI survey conducted with recruitment firm Harvey Nash and released today shows that employee engagement is the primary concern of managers following a time during recession when the same survey questions reported staff costs as being the focus.

JCB chairman Sir Anthony said: “In 65 years we’ve gone from one man in a garage in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, to a major global brand renowned for its pioneering spirit. All of this is down to our people. JCB is on the threshold of even greater success and it’s our employees who will help drive our future.”

JCB reported that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2010 were £235m compared to £94.5m in 2009. Sales increased by £630m in 2010 compared to the year before (a rise of 48%), and in 2010 JCB sold 51,600 machines, compared to 36,000 machines in 2009.

Sir Anthony said: “We started 2010 cautiously optimistic about trading prospects. The pace and strength of the recovery varied by market. Growth was strongest in the ‘BRIC’ countries and other developing economies, but some established markets, notably the UK and Germany, also performed [well].”

“We are still mindful of economic concerns which could hold back [JCB’s] recovery. We continue to invest in our manufacturing facilities, notably this year in India and Brazil and, of course, in new products, with 13 new machines launched so far in 2011,” he reported.

Regarding its operations in the UK, In 2011 JCB will be investing more than £20 million in modernising and increasing capacity at its 11 UK plants. Investment is also to take place abroad, notably in a new 350,000 sq ft factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the manufacture of backhoe loaders and tracked excavators.

George Archer