Turnover at digger-maker JCB fell by more than £1 billion in 2020 after the “severe impact” of Covid-19.
The manufacturer – which has factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham – revealed that turnover fell to £3.1 billion in 2020, compared to £4.2 billion in 2019, while machine sales decreased to 74,590 from 92,216 in the previous year.
At the same time, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciations and amortization (EBITDA) stood at £228 million, compared to £414 million in 2019.
Now JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald says the company is back on track and is “ramping up production” to record levels.
Mr MacDonald said: “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.”
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JCB Chairman Lord Bamford added: “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.
“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.”