JCB set new records for turnover and machine sales in 2017 as global markets continued to rebound strongly during the year, the company announced today. The Staff ordshire-based construction and agricultural machinery maker revealed that its sales turnover in 2017 rose by almost 28% to £3.35 billion (2016: £2.62 billion), while machine sales increased to 75,693 (2016: 66,011). Earnings on an EBITDA basis rose by almost 19% to £341 million (2016: £287 million).
Since 1975, JCB’s average return on investment has been over 30%. The market rebound has continued strongly in 2018 which has pushed JCB global production levels to a record level of 500 machines per day. JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “2017 was a very strong year for JCB during which we outpaced the market and set new sales records. While the global market grew by over 21% last year, JCB’s sales increased by almost 28%. This growth drove demand across all of JCB’s product ranges, in particular for Loadall telescopic handlers, where we are now investing in increased global production capacity.”
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The continued growth in global markets in 2018 has seen JCB production rates reach their highest in our history. Employment levels across our plants are also at record highs and we now employ more than 15 000 people. In the UK alone we have recruited almost 1 100 people this year, which is superb news for JCB and great news for British manufacturing.”
JCB has 22 factories around the world, including 11 in the UK and JCB’s UK plants now employ a record 7 600 people. In June, JCB revealed it was investing £50 million in a new British plant to manufacture cabs for its machines in Uttoxeter, Staff ordshire. The factory will open in 2019.
JCB MD Agriculture John Smith said: “Agriculture has played an important part In JCB’s success. The JCB Agriculture business unit achieved more than 30% growth in the last two years increasing its position in the worldwide markets. Backed by a series of industry leading machines, the business has responded quickly to the demands of the marketplace to produce more food at lower cost through increased mechanisation, driven by the needs of population growth. As a result, 2017 saw JCB notch up its best agricultural machine sales and with 2018 10% up on the previous 12 months, it is set to be another record year.
South Africa has been no exception to this: JCB agricultural machine sales increased by more than 20% in 2018. As a pioneer market for JCB Agriculture in 2013, JCB has focused on the unique requirements of the agriculture sector and has grown their dedicated agricultural sales network to focus on promoting our range to farmers and contractors. 2018 hasn’t been without its challenges for South African Agriculture. In a very competitive market where farmers’ profit margins are under pressure, they are seeking high utilisation from their machines and also the lowest cost of ownership.
“We need to continue to listen to our customers, provide them with reliable machines which offer high levels of productivity and high residual values. We must also work with our dealers to ensure the best possible service support is always available. This is vital to ensure we retain current customers and attract new ones.”