JCB announces 2020 profit, despite Covid-19, and hails 2021 boom

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UK-based off-highway vehicle OEM JCB remained profitable in 2020 despite the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its global manufacturing operations, the company announced today (27 September 2020).

Last year sales turnover fell to £3.1 billion (2019: £4.2 billion), while machine sales decreased to 74,590 (2019: 92,216). Earnings on an EBITDA basis stood at £228 million (2019: £414 million).

“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,” says JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald. “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.”

“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,” says JCB chairman Lord Bamford. “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.”

For more on JCB’s hydrogen breakthroughs don’t miss the September 2021 edition of iVT magazine.

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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