[image|/upload/gallery/7568.jpg|A JCB Loadall telescopic handler.
|AlignRight]JCB has announced that it had its third most profitable year in its 68-year history in 2013.
The company's earnings dropped from 2012's GBP365 million (USD614 million) to GBP313 million (USD527 million) on the back of a turnover of GBP2.68 billion/USD4.511 billion (2012: GBP2.70 billion/USD4.55 billion). JCB sold 66,227 machines, down from the previous year's 69,250.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford says despite difficult market conditions worldwide last year, the company performed strongly to achieve the third-highest profit in its history. "Turnover remained virtually unchanged year-on-year but volume and earnings were adversely affected by a slowdown in emerging markets, notably India, where JCB has a strong presence. This was further compounded by adverse currency movements in some economies."
He explains that turnover growth in the UK, Middle East and Africa helped to offset reductions in India, Europe and the Far East.
Bamford adds: "2014 has got off to a mixed start. Some markets are showing improvement, with stronger demand in the more developed markets of the UK and North America, which is offsetting weaker demand in the more fragile economies of Asia, Latin America and Russia. Political uncertainty created by elections in India and Brazil is also having an impact on markets."
JCB is forging ahead with long-term plans to increase capacity globally, with the company's latest Indian plant in Jaipur starting production in May.
In the UK, JCB is investing GBP150 million (USD253 million) to expand operations in Staffordshire, creating an additional 2,500 jobs by 2018, with work due to start later this year on a new 350,000 sqft. (32,516 sqm) plant for JCB Cab Systems in Uttoxeter (Forkliftaction.com News #646)
. A new factory will also be built in Cheadle, Staffordshire.