Sum up how happy you are with the company's 2022?\r\n\r\nFundamentally, I'm absolutely delighted. We set out on a journey of opening new stores and acquiring other more mature pet businesses in the last year, and whilst whilst we have benefited from the the underlying boost in pet ownership in the UK, we've worked really really hard to professionalise our back office functions, and putting our customers at the heart of absolutely everything that we do. And what that has meant is that we've been able to trade really well. We have a very supportive shareholder, and a very supportive bank and they've allowed us the flexibility to look for new stores. We\u2019ve opened nine stores and we've bought nine as well. So all in all the number of stores that we've had have grown by 18 in the last 12 months.\r\n\r\nWhat has helped drive the expansion?\r\n\r\nSo I think that there are two pieces which are linked. I think that the first one is we've been able to take market share from some of our competitors. And we think that that is a combination of our value proposition and our service proposition, and our local proposition. We offer great value to our customers and we try our hardest to serve our local community. We feel that those three areas give us a niche in the marketplace and that's enabled us to take market share, that's enabled us to trade profitably and it's enabled us to free up funding so that we can go and buy new stores and replicate our success.\r\n\r\nHow difficult has it been this year considering all the external factors?\r\n\r\nVery, very difficult. Two areas of our proposition have meant that the inflationary effects that we're seeing in the background have been very difficult to balance. The key to our service is our staff, how they interact with customers, how they welcome them, and how they talk to them, and how they provide great service in our stores. It wasn't the cheapest option, but we took the opportunity to give all of our staff a cost of living payment increase, and we paid the first instalment of that back in November, and that's a \u00a3600 supplement per employee.\r\n\r\nOn top of that, we also gave an additional staff discount for all of our employees. It's very important that we maintain price differentials as much as we can versus the competition. Some of the inflationary effects that we've seen from our suppliers, particularly the larger grocery suppliers, we've not passed them all on to our customers. We have seen our margins being squeezed but we feel that we must retain our top line, and that offsets the margin erosion that we are experiencing.\r\n\r\nAre you seeing a boost in the pet sector following the pandemic?\r\n\r\nOne of the things that we track is the price of newborn puppies and we use that as a proxy for the underlying pet population. So there was a huge growth in the pet population during Covid. Pre-Covid 42% of households had a pet and now that number is about 62%. However, the price of a puppy is actually not yet at the level it was pre-Covid but it's roughly half the price that it was in compared to April 2021. So we actually feel that the pet population is plateauing in the UK. What we do feel is that our business growth is going to be roughly 30% growth year on year. So we think actually that although the market is plateauing and maybe even slightly declining, we're taking a bigger chunk of the market.\r\n\r\nAre you looking to expand into any new markets in the coming year?\r\n\r\nIf we define markets as geographical markets, we are looking to expand into Scotland more and more. We opened a store in Edinburgh and we are going to be opening another store in Glasgow, at the end of February. We are looking to open two stores in Wales, before the end of May. There are also a number of other sites across England and Northern Ireland that we are looking at to expand markets that we already exist in. There's no new product segments that we're looking to expand into; however, we've opened raw shops, natural frozen food [in our expansion stores]. We're calling it the raw store and we feel that has huge opportunity for us. We will be looking to grow that opportunity in our new stores.\r\n\r\nWould you look to maybe grow into the Republic of Ireland or Europe? Or is it too early to say that?\r\n\r\nOne of the difficulties that we would have in that space would be food standards and moving product across borders. Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol mean that we don't have much difficulty moving from England into Northern Ireland, but I'm not sure the same could be said when we cross a hard Brexit border. At the moment our focus is on the UK.\r\n\r\nWhere do you see the company in five years?\r\n\r\nWe have had an exhilarating last 12 months, we've opened one store every month and we have an estate that stretches from Perth to Plymouth. We have also invested into our leadership team. We are hugely focused on at least maintaining our current speed of one store per month. I would like to be sitting here with you in 12 months time being very close to 100 stores. So in the next five years, I would love to create a business that has at least 150 stores across the UK.