So here we are in Christmas 2022. Who would’ve thought at the beginning of this year that the year would’ve turned out as it did? We were all excited about moving out of Covid, and getting back to some good trading conditions, and then it ended up a year of almost an endless winter. Wet weekends are not something that is good for garden centres, not good for business at all.

But here we are, we’ve got through the year and I don’t know how many times it was said during the year, but there are some things that we can’t control, like the weather but there are things that we can control. And I say to all the members, well done. I mean, there were things this year that could have been depressing. It was a year that was unexciting as far as sales go, but you guys controlled what you needed to to get through it. Good control of purchases, good control of expenses.

Most people have ended up with retaining about 50% of the gains that were made during Covid, which is a fantastic result. I read something the other day, about 75% of businesses in New South Wales were trading at below pre covid results. I don’t think there’s anyone that is actually trading below pre covid results, so well done. It is just a reminder that, okay, business is important, profits are important, sales are important, but all of that, even when it doesn’t go the way that you want, you get through the year, and now we’ve got to Christmas.

Enjoy time with family, with friends, and just take a time to appreciate the good things. Christmas this year was all about ‘tis a time of joy’ and it is a time of joy. There are so many good things that are happening. There are so many good people that are out there and we feel very privileged to have worked with you guys throughout the year. We wish everyone a happy Christmas and we look forward to an exciting year next year filled with sunshine and lots of gardening.

Happy Christmas to you.

From Hilton