Staffordshire-based equipment manufacturer JCB effectively weathered the Covid-19-induced disruption to its operations, according to results published today.
The company, famous for its yellow diggers, swung to a £228m profit last year, the 76th year in a row the business has been profitable.
Despite holding up well, JCB did suffer a sharp hit from the Covid-19 crisis. Profits fell from £414m in 2019, and revenue slid more than £1bn.
Graeme Macdonald, chief executive at JCB, 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.”
The pandemic engineered a slump in global manufacturing as projects were mothballed due to restrictions on economic activity, but has rebounded sharply as countries around the world push toward pre-pandemic output levels.
“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,” Macdonald added.