JCB prepares to cut 400 jobs

Last night, however, JCB began the process of laying off workers in Staffordshire, with those expansion plans having never been realised, reports The Times.

JCB said that it had begun a consultation process that could lead to it making 400 of its workers redundant. The company said that it had been hit by a collapse in orders from the so-called Bric markets — Brazil, Russia, India and China — that it had identified as producing the growth it was forecasting.

It said that in the first six months of the year orders in Russia had dropped by 70 per cent, in China by 47 per cent and in Brazil by 36 per cent. Parts of Europe have been similarly challenging, with French revenues 26 per cent down.

When JCB reported its 2014 full-year figures in the spring, it said that underlying profits had held steady at £303 million, off £10 million in a year in which revenues had fallen by £170 million, or 6 per cent, to £2.51 billion. Those figures, Lord Bamford, JCB’s chairman, said had held fast on the back of recovering Beritish and American markets, although these, too, had begun to soften amid “a fall in market confidence over the summer, which has been prompted to an extent by low oil and commodity prices in countries which depend on these resources to drive economic growth”.

Graeme Macdonald, JCB’s chief executive, said: “The situation is not about to improve, so we need to take difficult but decisive actions to align overheads to lower sales forecasts.”