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JH Lavender invests for future growth

HSBC backs Black Country engineering group with £2 million funding deal

From left: Adrian Taylor of JH Lavender, Ian Beesley and Richard Clayton of Baldwins Accountants
From left: Adrian Taylor of JH Lavender, Ian Beesley and Richard Clayton of Baldwins Accountants

A historic Black Country engineering company has carried out a £1.2 million investment in its plant to support new and expected contract wins.

JH Lavender, a West Bromwich-based precision aluminium die casting company, has bought two 750-tonne, fully automated aluminium die casting cells from Italy, adding to the eight high pressure machines it already operates.

The business has won a number of new contracts over the past 12 months with Jaguar Land Rover, helping to propel turnover from £12 million in 2012 to a forecasted £14 million this year.

HSBC's Black Country and Shropshire commercial team has provided a £1.9 million finance facility to support this and future investments, in a deal managed by senior commercial manager John Butler.

The funding has been allocated from HSBC's £500 million SME Fund specifically for companies in the West Midlands

HSBC's relationship with JH Lavender dates back to when the company was founded in 1917 to service the motorcycle industry by John Herbert Lavender.

It now employs more than 120 staff and supplies castings to a range of industry sectors including automotive, construction, oil and gas, medical and diesel-related industries.

It generates around a quarter of its sales from the overseas market, with exports into countries such as Germany, France, Slovakia and the USA.

Managing director Ian Timings said: "We had a very strong 2008 and then the recession began to bite in early 2009, with sales reducing by some 60 per cent.

"Regardless of this, we made the decision to invest in the business and to expand the range of customers and sectors we could work with.

"We introduced a new 1,600-tonne fully automated die casting cell in 2010, which was also backed by HSBC, which allowed us to enter new markets (and) kick started our climb out of the recession through capital investment.

"We have made the decision to significantly expand our production capacity - not only for our existing order book but also for work we anticipate winning over the coming months."

Ian Beesley, audit and accounts manager at accountancy firm Baldwins, provided support on funding the two new machines.

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