JCB attributed a profits rise announced this week to lean manufacturing which boosted productivity. JCB exported over three-quarters of production in 1998, despite the strong pound.
The firm, the world’s fifth largest maker of construction equipment, announced a $100m growth strategy for North America, including an export drive for its tracked excavators. Its new US backhoe loader factory at Savannah, Georgia, will come on stream later this year.
JCB profits rose from £80.3m in 1997 to £84.2m in 1998, on turnover of £786m, 76% of which came from exports.
In the UK, new factories in Cheadle, Staffordshire and Wrexham, north Wales, will improve efficiency by rationalising product families under the same roof.
Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said progress in the lift-truck market had been ‘tougher than expected’.