Machinery-maker JCB has delivered festive cheer to thousands of UK employees in the form of the company’s biggest Christmas bonus for more than a decade.
Around 7,200 employees at JCB’s 11 plants across Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will receive an extra £1,000 in their pay packets. The last time a Christmas bonus of that magnitude was awarded was in 2007.
Thanks to swelling global market the private company’s sales increased 28% last year, and passed £3bn for the first time, up from up from £2.62bn in 2016.
Last year’s bonus was £500.
The bonus comes in a year in which JCB machine production reached a 73-year high and in which an additional 1,500 people were recruited. This includes the awarding of permanent JCB contracts to around 550 agency employees, the company said.Â
"There are many parallels between JCB and the British economy at the moment," said JCB chairman Lord Bamford in announcing the bonus, "both are doing very well indeed and both have record levels of employment.
"What’s more, the signs remain extremely encouraging for 2019, with many reasons to remain positive for the future, both for our business, and the UK, which, after all, is the world’s fifth largest economy."
During 2018 JCB launched its new range of X-Series excavators, and began work on a new £50m UK factory at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire to build cabs for its machines.
JCB also unveiled its first electric digger – a 1.8 tonne mini excavator which can be charged by plugging it into a 230 volt domestic supply.
Image: JCB staff celebrate the biggest Christmas bonus in a decade (JCB)