Renowned English manufacturer JCB remained profitable in 2020 despite the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its global manufacturing operations.

Last year the company’s sales decreased to 74,590 machines, down 17,716 units on 2019 figures when it sold a massive 92,216 machines. This drop in sales equated to fall in sales turnover to £3.1bn (€3.6bn), down from £4.2bn (€4.87bn), a year previous. Meanwhile, earnings on an EBITDA basis stood at £228m (€264m), (2019: £414m (€480m)).

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “In March 2020, £1bn 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, 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.”