A London-based buyer and seller of metals and metal alloys is responding to a sustained spike in demand for its services with support from Lloyds Bank.
Aura Metals supplies to clients worldwide, in sectors ranging from construction and automotive to electronics and the arts. The end products, using metal supplied by Aura, are wide-ranging, covering everything from nickel aluminium bronze metal for marine propellers to silicon bronze for art casting foundries.
Aura Metal’s revenue has grown exponentially in recent years, from £22m in 2020 to £52m in 2021, as a result of increased trading costs and volume, and the strong growth of its scrap metal business. To support this rise, long-term banking partner Lloyds Bank has increased Aura Metals’ trade finance facility to $8m (£6.6m), enabling the firm – which trades in dollars, sterling and euros – to purchase goods while waiting for confirmed sales orders to be paid.
Founded in 2002, Aura Metals now works with around 70 foundries across the UK, supplying both alloys (so-called “semi-finished products”) as well as scrap, which amounts to over 400 tons of metal for the business on a monthly basis. Aura’s scrap business, set up in 2020, currently exports to countries such as Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea.
For managing director Anders Axson, the support of Lloyds Bank has also been key to setting up a new arm of the company during lockdown, as the sector grappled with supply chain disruption, and navigating the current rise in the cost of doing business.
He said: “Over the years, we’ve built a business that can now offer bespoke support to a diverse range of industries, individually tailored to our customers’ needs. As a sector, we’re not alone in commodity prices going up and up and up. To give this some context, whereas 18 months ago you might have paid £6k for a tonne of metal, that’s now gone up to £10k.
“For us, demand has grown around the same time as metal costs have risen, and so Lloyds Bank’s financial help and guidance have been vital in enabling us to accommodate and respond to that demand. The dedicated trade finance team there has gotten to know how we work as a business, and offers support and advice specific to our sector, which makes us feel really well backed and in a position to keep growing.”
Eleanor Cox, Head of Manufacturing, Wholesale & Industrials at Lloyds Bank, added: “The metals sector has faced challenges around market turbulence and supply chain disruption since the start of the pandemic, and rising costs and the impact of the war in Ukraine have added to those challenges. At Lloyds Bank, we’ve seen time and time again that businesses can thrive in adversity, and we’ll remain firmly by the side of Aura Metals to help them continue their growth strategy in the months and years ahead.”