DIGGER giant JCB has seen its third most profitable year in its 68-year history in 2013, its latest figures have revealed.
Despite the figures being lower that 2012, the Rocester-based company still saw its profits before tax standing at £313 million (down from £365 million in 2012).
It also saw the turnover of £2.68 billion (£2.70 billion the previous year) and the machine sales stood at 66,227 (69,250 in 2012).
John Kavanagh, JCB group communications director, added the UK and Ireland saw a turnover of 17 per cent.
He said: “The UK has the fastest growing construction market in the world and we have a lot of confidence in our customers. Every sector has seen growth.”
Turnover in America stood at 19 per cent and six per cent in Africa.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said: “The global market for construction equipment was more challenging throughout 2013 but I am delighted that, despite difficult market conditions, JCB delivered a strong performance and achieved the third highest profit in its history.
“Turnover remained virtually unchanged year-on-year but volume and earnings were adversely affected by a slowdown in emerging markets, notably India, where JCB has a strong presence.
“This was further compounded by adverse currency movements in some economies.
“Turnover growth in the UK, Middle East and Africa during 2013 helped to offset reductions in India, Europe and the Far East.
“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.”
JCB said it is now forging ahead with long-term plans to increase capacity globally, with its latest Indian plant in Jaipur starting production in May.
In the UK, the construction giant is pressing ahead with a £150 million plan to expand operations in Staffordshire which will create 2,500 jobs by 2018.
Work will start on the new 350,000 square foot JCB Cab Systems, in Beamhurst, in late summer with the company hoping to open the factory a year later.