The future looks bright for Uttoxeter's biggest employer after it defied an unstable market to grow earnings by more than a third.
Amid a challenging year for the construction industry, digger giant JCB saw its earnings rise more than 34 per cent in 2016.
Some countries saw huge contraction in their building trades, including Brazil, where JCB has a factory near Sao Paulo.
However, the Rocester-based firm’s annual results for last year, which were released on July 12, show it is more than coping with unstable global conditions.
Operating in an industry that, overall, contracted one per cent in 2016, JCB’s EBITDA earnings were £287 million, up from £214 million in 2015. Sales turnover rose by nearly 12 per cent to £2.62 billion, which machine sales increased from 59,844 to 66,011.
The UK construction market shrunk five per cent, but company bosses say a house-building boom and infrastructure projects have already boosted business this year.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said: “While we face challenges in some parts of the world, the global construction market so far in 2017 is buoyant and is expected to grow further during the remainder of this year.
“We continue to launch innovative new products and enter new sectors which will enable JCB to secure strong levels of growth in the future.
“The UK market has got off to a particularly buoyant start this year, with housebuilding driving demand for compact and mid-range equipment, particularly telescopic handlers.
“In addition, there are some key infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point and Thames Tideway which are in the early stages of implementation, so customers are currently evaluating their fleet and machinery needs.
“Road improvements and widening schemes across the UK are also leading to increased demand for equipment.”
One of the factors in JCB’s success has been its constant innovation and creation of new products.
This year it has already launched itself into a completely new market by creating its own brand of mobile access lifts.
Last month, it also announced the creation of 50 jobs when it starts production on a new high-visibility dump truck.
In January, bosses said another 350 new roles would be introduced to accommodate the production of a ground-breaking new engine at JCB Power Systems, in Foston.
It has even joined forces with Specsavers to start its own brand of safety goggles.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “JCB’s strong performance in 2016 was against some economic headwinds which saw the global construction equipment market shrink.
“Some markets grew, such as India which rose by almost 40 per cent, while others fell, including Brazil which was down by more than 40 per cent.
“The UK market contracted by five per cent in 2016 but the good news is that, after a difficult few years, European markets grew strongly and were up by more than 10 per cent last year.”
EBITDA earnings are essentially net profit with interest, taxes, depreciation and some other costs added back in.