JCB remains profitable despite the pandemic

JCB has remained profitable despite the impact of the pandemic.
Finance & Funding / September 28, 2021 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
JCB saw a drop in demand for machines during the pandemic but remained profitable, with sales now rebounding at a fast pace
UK construction machinery giant JCB says that it remained profitable in 2020, despite the massive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its global operations.

However, the firm’s financial performance did suffer a heavy blow. Sales turnover fell to £3.1 billion for 2020 compared with  £4.2 billion in 2019. Meanwhile machine sales decreased to 74,590 units for 2020, compared with  92,216 in 2019. Earnings on an EBITDA basis stood at £228 million, compared with £414 million for 2019.

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald explained: “In March 2020, £1 billion worth of orders disappeared overnight with the onset of Covid-19 and JCB was forced to close its 21 manufacturing plants around the world for around two months. Despite the severe impact on its business, JCB remained profitable in 2020 as it has done for the past 76 years. The turnaround in 2021 has been dramatic: we are sitting here now in September with four times the usual order bank we had in normal times two to three years ago. As a result, we are ramping up production to levels we have not had before. I have never seen anything like it in my career.”
 
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The past is the past and, while 2020 was undoubtedly one of the most difficult years in our history, our focus is now very firmly on the future.”

Lord Bamford emphasised also the firm’s research into low emissions technologies to meet future demand, “We continue to lead the way in zero emissions technology, particularly with the development of the construction equipment industry’s first internal combustion engine powered by hydrogen, which is already being tested in JCB machines. This is a great British breakthrough and we will be producing these engines by the end of next year.”
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