U.K.-based construction equipment maker J. C. Bamford Excavators Ltd. reported record sales last year, increasing global production 21%, to 45,000 units, and generating a 23% revenue hike to $2.6 billion. Pre-tax profits of the privately owned firm doubled to $2.4 million, making last year “the most successful in JCB’s history,” according to Chair-

man Anthony Bamford. A $140-million contract with the U.S. Army for a high-speed backhoe loader helped raise JCB from the world’s fifth biggest equipment maker to fourth [in volume], it claims. JCB has 10 plants in the U.K., three in India and one each in the U.S., Brazil, China and Germany.