JCB pays bumper £75m dividend to Bamford owners

JCB has paid a bumper £75m dividend after the diggers and dumper trucks company controlled by the Bamford family achieved record financial results.

The pay-out for 2018 by the UK-based manufacturer was shown in filings to Companies House by the group’s main holding entity JCB Service and compares with a £60m dividend in 2017.

JCB Service is owned by a Dutch parent company which is ultimately controlled by “Bamford family interests”.

Lord Anthony Bamford, whose father founded JCB in Staffordshire in the 1940s, is chairman of the company and a prominent supporter of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

He is a backer of the ruling Conservatives, though the filings showed that JCB Service’s political donations to the party dropped by one-third to £1m in 2018.

Mr Bamford has also donated separately this year to Boris Johnson, who won the Tory leadership race in July to become prime minister.

The dividend pay-out comes after JCB earlier this month reported revenues above £4bn for 2018 on the back of buoyant demand for heavy-duty machinery, with pre-tax profit jumping by more than half to £310.4m.

The global market for construction equipment, dominated by the likes of Caterpillar and Japan’s Komatsu, topped 1m unit sales to reach an all-time high.

Known for its distinctive yellow machines found on building sites around the world, JCB is a British manufacturing success story with a global workforce of 15,000, around half of which are based in the UK.

JCB showed faith in its prospects with an increase in expenditure on research and development increased to £93.4m last year.

However, the company has warned of a slowdown in the construction equipment sector spanning several emerging markets including the Middle East, Turkey and Latin America, with the exception of Brazil.

India, where JCB plans to open a new £65m factory in Gujarat next year, is facing a temporary squeeze on funds for building projects.

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