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JCB invests despite fall in sales

JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford has promised his family-run business will invest in the future despite announcing poor final-year sales for 2009.

Amid the deepest ever recession in the global construction equipment industry, the UK-based manufacturing firm saw sales drop by a third to £1.35 billion last year but was able to increase profit before tax marginally to £29 million.

It further increased its market share to an all-time high of 12.2% to reinforce its position as the world's third-largest construction equipment manufacturer.

Bamford (pictured) said: "2009 was hugely challenging. The entire JCB organisation pulled together magnificently to respond decisively to the unprecedented downturn, which was particularly severe in the first half of the year. "

Yet the company, which was founded 64 years ago by Bamford's father, has now embarked on a £20 million investment in a new generation of its backhoe loader machine.

"Despite the economic difficulties, we continued to invest in new products, with 11 innovative machines launched so far this year," said Bamford, who further commented that he has seen a "strong recovery" in emerging markets such as India, Brazil and China, although the traditional markets of Western Europe and North America remain weak.

JCB employs 7,000 people on four continents. Click here to read our exclusive 2004 interview with Sir Anthony.

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