JCB in a hole over global credit crunch

Digger giant JCB has warned that its soaring sales growth is under pressure as the credit crunch slows demand for construction equipment.

The privately-owned firm said 2007 was the most successful in its 62-year history, with sales up 31 per cent to 72,000 units and pre-tax profits 25 per cent ahead at £187 million.

But chief executive Matthew Taylor warned that a downturn in the US construction market was spreading to Europe, and said booming emerging markets such as India and Eastern Europe were also showing signs of a slowdown.

He said: "Trading conditions throughout 2008 will continue to be difficult because of the credit crunch.

"There are signs that the downturn in the North American market is now spreading into some western European markets. The recent high growth rates in some of the emerging markets are also now showing signs of slowing."

JCB was founded in 1945 and has 10 factories in the UK at sites in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham, employing about 6,500 people. There are also manufacturing bases in the US, Brazil, Germany, India and China.

Image: Digger group faces trading challenges in 2008

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