Another year has passed, making it over 20 years that we've now been in business.
We've continued to grow, not only on the knotweed front. I'm pleased to say two of our employees have given birth this year, so we now have two beautiful babies being trained up on how best to tackle knotweed. There must be something in the air, as a further two employees are expecting babies in 2017, congratulations to all of them.
Further investment has been made in R&D this year resulting in some exciting new developments which are currently undergoing field trials. We hope to be able to report next year on their success so that we can offer alternative more cost effective-methods to remove knotweed on large development sites.
We have bought some land that is heavily infested with knotweed in the South of England. As part of our R&D field trials we plan to clear the knotweed in 2017 and if all else fails we there is always our tried and tested Xtract™ method to fall back on.
The number of Resi-Dig-Outs™ we've carried out this year has substantially increased, with extremely encouraging results and positive feedback from our clients. This method will continue to be developed next year for the benefit of those customers who are serious about getting rid of their knotweed in a short space of time.
We've worked on various legal cases, resulting in very satisfactory out of court settlements for our clients.
Our insurance backed guarantees underwritten at Lloyd's are now widely recognised and accepted by all the major lenders. We're currently in discussions with our insurers and hope to be able to update you on improvements to the guarantees early in 2017.
Having exchanged contracts on our 5,000 sq ft Head Office in Send near Woking, we will be completing the purchase early in 2017. This will provide the premises we need for our future growth, to accommodate our growing workforce, our equipment, and to continue with our R&D projects.
To conclude, 2016 has been a good year, thanks to our clients, and to our hard working team for making it all happen.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.