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JCB profits increase despite crash

Building industry supplier JCB, the third largest in the world, still managed to turn a profit last year despite the unprecedented global recession in construction equipment trade.

The Staffordshire-based excavator manufacturer had a third less sales, falling to £1.35 billion, but its pre-tax profit increased by £1 million to £29 million compared with 2008.

The building equipment sector crashed by 46 per cent during last year with total sales of 36,000 machines, yet JCB grew its share of the market to a 12.2 per cent high. Its market share of backhoe loaders increased to 40 per cent and of Loadall telescopic handlers to 28 per cent.

JCB chairman Anthony Bamford said: “2009 was hugely challenging for the construction equipment industry. The entire JCB organisation pulled together magnificently to respond decisively to the unprecedented downturn, which was particularly severe in the first half of the year.

“Tough action was taken to adjust our cost base to align it to a much reduced level of demand, and this resulted in an improving profit trend as the year progressed.

“We have created a strong platform for renewed profitable growth.”