So what did we achieve in the battle against Japanese knotweed in 2014? When I look back, quite a lot. On the general awareness front we launched our new website, on which we have received extremely favourable feedback. We've been featured in national media. We were interviewed for a 6 page article in the Sunday Times colour supplement magazine. We were also featured on BBC Breakfast, demonstrating how to get rid of Japanese knotweed from a property in South London. We had several Japanese knotweed videos made to help with the identification of Japanese knotweed, to show the damage that knotweed can cause, as well as how to tackle knotweed on a domestic property, and on commercial sites.
Our Japanese knotweed insurance backed guarantees underwritten at Lloyd's have proved their worth, now being accepted by all major lenders. There is a growing realisation that our IBGs really are the best in the market. We have had many requests to provide guarantees on work carried out by others - it's not something we do as a general rule but we look at each situation individually and can usually find a solution for our clients.
We moved to our new 6,500 sq ft Head Office with warehouse in Surrey that house our main team, all our equipment, and our R&D activities.
We've developed our Xtract™ method to be used on small residential properties, the resi-dig-out™ solution. This is proving incredibly popular on properties where a rapid solution is required, in winter as well as in summer.
We worked on our most expensive private dwelling to date - an £18 million new build mansion in Surrey.
We saw the largest case of knotweed concealment ever on a large exclusive estate with the equivalent of 37 tennis courts of knotweed infested ground - all hidden from prospective buyers, but all pretty obvious to us!
We've teamed up with excellent lawyers who have helped some of our clients recover the costs of treatment in cases of "misrepresentation" and "encroachment".
On 28th May it was Environet's 18th birthday - I think that makes us the longest running company specialising solely in the eradication of Japanese knotweed.
In 2014 we increased our sales turnover by approx 35% on the previous year. To support our increased workload we recruited a new Regional Manager, Mat Day, to service our clients in London. We also took on a new Office Manager, Jess Lynch, to provide administration support. We have recently taken on two new employees to help with the projected increase in workload in 2015.
The year ahead looks like it's going to be a busy one. We haven't made any New Year's resolutions, but we know our mission and are confident it will be accomplished.
Happy New Year to all our clients.