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Birmingham Post Rich List 2014: No.1 - Lord Bamford and family (£3.3bn)

The highest profit in his firm’s 67 year history, one of its biggest ever single orders and a seat in the House of Lords – not a bad year for the chairman of digger-maker JCB.

Anthony Bamford
Anthony Bamford

The highest profit in his firm’s 67 year history, one of its biggest ever single orders and a seat in the House of Lords – not a bad year for the chairman of digger-maker JCB.

Lord Bamford – formerly Sir Anthony Bamford – was named as one of 14 new Conservative peers last August. He takes the formal title of Baron Bamford of Daylesford in the County of Gloucestershire and Wootton in the County of Staffordshire.

With more than 6,000 employees in 11 UK factories, exporting more than three-quarters of its production, JCB – which donated diggers and generators to help the Philippines disaster appeal - generates export revenues of £1.35 billion.

An analysis by Oxford Economics calculated that JCB contributes £1.4 billion to national GDP, £555 million to the exchequer and 24,000 jobs overall to the UK economy.

The company has delivered a £365 million profit on £2.7 billion sales following unprecedented global demand for its distinctive yellow products. Sales in Africa have doubled and sales in the Middle East are up by 12 per cent. Orders in Brazil, North America and Russia continue to rise.

The company continues to plan ahead, with new factories announced for Uttoxeter and Cheadle, 2,500 new jobs and an investment in UK manufacturing facilities of £150 million.

The Rocester firm – which is selling 70,000 machines a year across the world – is now valued at more than £3 billion. Growth is coming largely from emerging markets, but more traditional markets are performing well also.

While demand for construction equipment has eased, this is more than offset by strong growth in agricultural and materials handling products.

Investment continues apace, with £8 million being invested in its UK factories, including a £4 million investment in machine tools at JCB’s Hydraulic Business Unit in Rocester. More investments are being made at JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter and JCB Transmissions in Wrexham.

An investment of £62 million is being poured into JCB’s manufacturing operations in India with a construction equipment factory on a 70-acre site in Jaipur. And the world’s biggest JCB dealership opened in Russia after an investment of £6 million.

In 2012 JCB opened a new £60 million factory in Brazil, well-placed to take advantage of the surge in the construction sector in that country off the back of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

The new 350,000 sq ft plant in Sao Paulo will make excavators and backhoe loaders, mainly for the domestic market.

David Cameron and Anthony Bamford at the opening of a JCB factory in Brazil
David Cameron and Anthony Bamford at the opening of a JCB factory in Brazil
 

The company clinched one of its biggest ever orders in the summer with a deal for 900 machines worth more than £53 million for plant hire company Fork Rent. The deal for Loadall telescopic handlers boosted production at JCB’s headquarters in Rocester.

As well as their huge 4,000 acre Wootton estate in Staffordshire, Lord Bamford, 67, and his wife Lady Carole Bamford have homes in Chelsea, Barbados and France and the 2,000 acre Daylesford estate near Stow-on-the Wold where Lady Bamford also runs the award-winning Daylesford Organics.

She founded the company 11 years ago and it is now one of the country’s largest working organic farms, with a long list of celebrity customers. The company, which has a vineyard in Provence, supplies food delivery firm Ocado, and has a store and café in Tokyo.

She also has shops in Pimlico, Notting Hill, Selfridges’ and Gloucestershire, an organic farm school, a cookery school and a fashion business – Bamford & Sons.

The Bamfords’ road to fortune began in 1945 when Sir Anthony’s father, Joseph Cyril Bamford – inventor of the iconic backhoe loader - built his first farm trailer in a small garage in Rocester. Now Sir Anthony moves in exalted circles and has the ear of the Prime Minister.

He has been a significant donor to the Conservative Party but has also been an active benefactor of non-political causes including the NSPCC.

JCB has also helped secure the future of Rocester Village Hall with a £10,000 donation for a new roof.

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