ROCESTER-based digger giant JCB has seen its turnover rise to the highest level in the company’s 66-year history at £2.75 billion.
Yesterday the firm announced record financial results as it unveiled 66 new products at an international trade show in Paris after retaining its position as the world number one manufacturer of backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers.
The turnover of £2.75 billion announced by JCB was 37 per cent greater than the £2 billion achieved in 2010 and more than double the £1.35 billion sales recorded in 2009.
Pre-tax profits reached a record £355 million and machine sales rose to 69,100 — up from 51,600 in 2010.
JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: “This record financial performance has been delivered on the back of very strong growth in both traditional markets and the emerging economies.
“While we are mindful of the continuing economic and political uncertainties in some parts of the world, JCB’s ongoing investment in its 22 global factories, coupled with the biggest product launch programme in our history, means we are well placed to seize new opportunities for growth and deliver another strong performance in 2012.
“We are investing heavily in manufacturing facilities in the UK and overseas and later this year a new 350,000sq ft factory will start producing backhoe loaders and excavators in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“Substantial investment in research and development continues to keep JCB at the forefront of construction equipment technology, including engine development programmes, to further improve fuel efficiency and meet legislative requirements.”
The 66 new products launched in 2012 is a record in one year for JCB and includes a 20-metre telescopic handler, the biggest the company has ever made and which will be built at the firm’s Rocester plant.
JCB chief executive Alan Blake told the Advertiser it was currently recruiting, with qualified engineers the most pressing need for the firm.
He said: “The figures are great news for JCB and great news for the area. We depend very heavily on local employment and have great employees here.
“We are currently recruiting for high calibre engineers and for production workers as volumes increase. We have about 100 engineering vacancies.”
Mr Blake revealed the firm currently had 118 apprentices, 49 undergraduates and 204 recent graduates, and was looking to ramp up its recruitment of apprentices in the coming months.
Speaking about the outlook for 2012, Mr Blake said: “We are planning for and expect more growth in 2012. We are mindful that the world still has uncertainties in it and reasons to be cautious but there are also reasons to be optimistic.
“In 2011 the UK economy was strong for us and the construction sector was strong. Our dealers are reporting good business.”
JCB currently employs more than 10,000 people around the world and has 770 dealers with 2,000 dealer depots.