However, 2013 was still the third most profitable year in JCB’s 68-year history.
For 2013 JCB has reported earnings before income, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of £313m (2012: £365m). Turnover was down marginally (0.7%) to £2.68bn, compared with £2.70bn in 2012.
The number of machines sold was down by more than 4% at 66,227 (2012: 69,250).
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said: “The global market for construction equipment was more challenging throughout 2013 but I am delighted that, despite difficult market conditions, JCB delivered a strong performance and achieved 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.
“Turnover growth in the UK, Middle East and Africa during 2013 helped to offset reductions in India, Europe and the Far East.”
He added: “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.”
Despite this, JCB is continuing to invest in global capacity enhancements. The latest Indian plant in Jaipur starts production in May. In the UK, £150m is being invested in production. As previously reported, the main Rocester factory is being expanded; work is set to start later this year on a new plant for JCB Cab Systems in Uttoxeter; and a new factory for JCB Utility Products is planned for Cheadle in Staffordshire.