Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our team to yours

Alex Morcos

On behalf of the Morcos family I would like to wish our valued customers, trusted partners and our entire team of dedicated staff a very Merry Christmas.

Spending time with our partners and customers is my favourite part of my role, and in 2023 I have had much more opportunity to travel and reconnect. I was joined by my daughter Annalisa at several industry events and it has been lovely to see her step into a more active role in this family business that has been operating for well over 100 years.

Throughout 2023 we have solidified the strategic direction of the business, with real clarity about who we are, where we are going and how we can impact the markets we operate in. The leadership team is working very cohesively and we have the right mix of smart, skilled people to deliver some very exciting changes in the year ahead.

In particular, we have made big investments in expanding our footprint in locations that will best serve our customers’ needs. We are about to launch manufacturing in Italy for our UES Marine brand, we are relocating our US and New Zealand facilities to enable higher inventory levels and better customer access, and we have recently taken our first marine order from our new showroom in Greece.

This year also saw the official launch of our Overland brand and the appointment of regional business managers to create a streamlined and consistent experience for our customers.

It’s been a big year!

At the heart of it all, though, we are a family focused on building a legacy where the UES name is synonymous with quality and partnership. Everything we do, from the tech updates we are introducing in our warehouses to the people we bring on board, is about improving how we deliver for our customers.

I honestly believe the best is still ahead of us.

We will be enjoying a quiet family Christmas this year, our first without Annalisa, who will be heading overseas. On behalf of the Morcos family I would like to thank all staff for their hard work and commitment throughout the year. However you plan to spend the season, we wish our loyal staff and partners a safe and joyous break. May your 2024 be bigger and better!


Matt Roughan – CEO

UES Team,

Some years seem to go by faster than others and 2023 has flown for me. I am proud to say that our dedicated UES team has achieved more revenue and profit in the past 12 months than any other time in the history of the business. Credit for this is due to a number of factors including more consistent stock holding; diligent account management, particularly in Bunnings; and investment in upskilling our people and implementing new processes.

All of these things are not one offs. In 2024 we will accelerate our transformation process with a focus on leveraging our digital investments in eCommerce and heightened investment in improving the way we attract and support our customers.

All of this represents exciting times ahead and fantastic opportunities for our UES people to grow and develop. We should all be very proud of our collective efforts in 2023, while recognising that the job is not yet done. As a business we have enormous potential to grow both our relationships with existing customers while also moving into new segments and markets.

After a year of considerable change, I’m sure that our finance team is looking forward to a restful Christmas period before we launch into 2024. The team is now well positioned to support the broader needs of our UES operations and I’d like to thank the team members for their hard work resilience, and professional approach this year.

From a personal perspective, I am thankful for the return to relative normality post the COVID years. I am also appreciative of the support of my Executive and Senior Leadership team for their candour and engagement in our improvement journey and humbled by the ongoing support and investment in UES from the Morcos family. It is this support and confidence which is allowing us the opportunity to drive the positive changes we are seeing and in turn, reinvest and reward that success. Our key partners and suppliers also play a critical role in enabling UES to perform and I make special mention of local service providers Carbon 5, 3rd Mill and Clique Logistics who have given unwavering and excellent support across our business in 2023. To our many suppliers, local and overseas, we remain thankful of your support and we look forward to even more engagement in 2024.

My short holiday break will be shared with my immediate family and be characterised by an overindulgence in food, drink and laughs. I hope that you all enjoy your break, take the time to recharge and rejoin us in 2024 for more record months.

Have a happy, safe and festive season.


Nelson Ostler – Chief Operating Officer

In contemplating the year that was, I’m taken aback by how quickly it has passed with all the activities and events that made up 2023.

From an operational perspective we kicked off the year with our first ever Operations Conference, giving team members great insight into the operational priorities and everyday activities that can make a big difference to business performance. I’m looking forward to our second conference in 2024.

We created some new roles to strengthen our continuous improvement activities, welcoming Fraser Paterson as Business Analyst. He has already transformed the speed and quality of reporting to help us make informed business decisions. Michael Dupesovski joined as the Group Operations Manager and commenced work in NSW and Victora to establish continuous improvement tools. In 2024 this program will expand across every location to help drive standardisation and operational efficiency.

Our focus on optimising stock holdings continued this year and we are now seeing positive results through higher stock turns and less cash being tied up in inventory. In 2024 we will continue to work towards establishing guaranteed service levels for customers across our A class items.

One of the standout achievements of 2023 has been the manufacture and dispatch of marine seating for the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels currently being built in Finland. It was a great accomplishment by Michael Borsellino and his team at St Marys who all put in a stellar effort, working many extra hours to ensure the seats were shipped on time. The team have now commenced building the seats for the second Spirit of Tasmania vessel, which will be dispatched in May next year.

As we come into 2023’s home straight, we’ve secured a brand new premises for our New Zealand operation and the team is frantically preparing to move in before we close for Christmas. We’ve just fitted the premises with high bay racking, which will provide Dono and his team adequate storage to expand the range and target growth in 2024.

As you head off for a well-earned break, I’d like to thank you for your continued support. I’m especially appreciative of the energy and effort our staff continue to provide UES and I look forward to seeing you in the new year to continue our improvement journey and hopefully see the Penrith Panthers win a fourth Premiership.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable Christmas.


Wendy Lawrence – General Manager, UES Marine

The past year has been one of growth for me and my team, as we gear up to deliver a number of exciting projects. We have celebrated the opening of our new showroom in Greece, established a new manufacturing facility in Italy that will reduce lead times for customers in the region, and welcomed a number of new staff across our locations worldwide.

As always, working closely with our customers has been the best part of the year. Being able to help our customers deliver on their visions and meet the needs of their riders is very satisfying. We’ve worked across a number of new-build projects this year and have also seen a growing trend towards refits as operators look to manage their budgets in a tight economy as well as meeting their sustainability goals. Refits bring a particular set of challenges as we work with pre-existing layouts and mounting systems, and we have enjoyed helping our customers give their vessels a new lease on life.

We’re also seeing a continued trend towards sustainability, with a focus on lightweight seating and marine furniture and more and more projects featuring electric and hybrid vessels.

Next year promises some very exciting moments, including the opportunity to see the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels go into service. We have been working with the exceptional team at Spirit of Tasmania since 2015 and cannot wait to see these new iconic ferries take to the water.

We have several other major projects that will come to fruition next year and we look forward to seeing the hard work of 2023 pay off as these vessel fit outs are completed.

The marine sector is always a dynamic space and I know our customers value responsiveness, problem solving and genuine engagement. I want to thank you for continuing to support our business and for giving us the opportunity to work alongside you on your projects.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season planned. I will be hosting Christmas at my house and am very much looking forward to time with my family, including my grandchildren.

Thank you again for your support over the year, and may 2024 be successful and prosperous for you.


Ben Petersen – Group Marketing Manager

Our collective effort across marketing, communication and sales has been a really good mix of hard work and great results, plus learning some new things and putting in the effort for a future payoff.

To recap the year, let’s use a metaphor (a key part of our Sales Excellence process) and talk about UES – the band.

Our Branch Managers and staff have played brilliantly throughout the year to stadiums of fans (customers). In rehearsal we have learned to play some new songs and picked up some new instruments. On tour we played some new locations and performed solidly, belting out the songs everyone loves.

We’ve had some new hits too – innovative and led by quality market and customer input, making sure we focused our energy on solutions our customers are looking for. We will continue to write new songs and have certainly demonstrated that a great new song can come from anyone. It’s fair to say we’ve all been given some great tips on how to play our instruments like masters through the Sales Excellence process and we’ll continue to practise and rehearse to hit the right note! Special shoutout to Todd Lourigan and Mark Eshmade, who have demonstrated some great Sales Excellence solos in recent shows!

The band has toured a few new locations this year, notably the Brisbane Truck Show, the Shippax Marine Conference in Barcelona and most recently Interferry at Hobart. With each event we get better at showcasing our points of difference, creating memorable delegate experiences and lifting the value of our brands. We’ve even had some great band practise sessions through our annual and quarterly get-togethers to share where we are at and where we are going. No band practise is complete without some constructive creative differences, so please continue to share your view of the world.

Belting out the classics has delivered very strong sales and it’s been great to see customers rely on us for the things they know we are great at. Changing the arrangements on a few of our solid hits has proven valuable, particularly across the Toolbox category. The changes we have made, and will continue to make, have appealed to much larger audiences than ever before.

Running the light and sound desk has been challenging this year. In putting the spotlight on the right performer, other band members have sometimes been left in the dark. And although we completed our sound checks at the start of the year, we have heard a little distortion in parts and some microphones were not working as well as they should. Not letting that deter us, the band have continued to play and make the most of it. Looking to 2024 and the great appointments we’ve made in Rory and Ly, and with Fraser running our front of house, we are confident of getting back to great sound, awesome lighting and might even throw in some pyrotechnics.

As the curtain comes down on 2023, I would like to thank you all for your exceptional contribution and commitment to change. My role is simply a collective effort of yours, so thank you. I know we’ve got a great new album in us for 2024, and I can already see some top hits in the making.

All the best and stay safe.


Peter Criddle – Group Sales Manager

Reflecting on this year, it has been exceptionally positive as we’ve witnessed a continuous upswing in sales within the Hardware sector. The credit for this success undoubtedly goes to our branches, with their dedicated and knowledgeable staff who prioritise our customers every day.

As global challenges related to freight, logistics, and manufacturing have subsided, the business has experienced much smoother operations with suppliers and partners able to reconnect and participate in various events. It’s been wonderful to see.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their unwavering hard work and dedication throughout the year. A special acknowledgement goes to Bob, who, while enjoying retirement and travelling around Australia, continues to contribute his expertise to our QLD, VIC and NT branches. Congratulations are also in order for David Chand, our South Australia Sales and Business Manager, on reaching the remarkable milestone of 35 years with UES!

Thank you to everyone for their support throughout the year. I wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy the break with family and friends. I look forward to a strong and successful year ahead for all.


Michael Dupesovski – Group Operations Manager (SYD)

Having recently joined UES, I can say the experience has been overwhelmingly positive and welcoming in these few short months. It’s truly a privilege to become part of this successful company with a legacy spanning three generations.

While immersing myself in the intricacies of the business, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting everyone and I look forward to the opportunity of enhancing our group operations together. My focus will lie in establishing a standardised approach to operational excellence, adopting a lean manufacturing model, and refining our processes to better serve our customers.

We’ve already initiated several programs, and in 2024 I look forward to seeing the complete integration of our comprehensive plan to apply a standard approach across all focus areas: Safety, Quality, Delivery, People, and Costs.

Globally there have been many conflicts and challenges, so this holiday period is a great time to connect with family and friends and enjoy some time off to refresh. Personally, I’ll be taking a break from my usual tradition of hosting lunch for my extended family and three beautiful grandchildren, and instead we will all enjoy a lovely lunch in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a safe and relaxing break, and best wishes for the New Year.


Marine Manufacturing Team in front of a Spirit of Tasmania seat. The packed seats are the first set of three sets for Set Schiffbau – Hadag New Ferries Vessel 1 for Germany, that will be shipped out in the next couple of weeks.

L-R: Michael Borsellino, Robert Henderson, Kin Dinh, Damien Arvidson, Michael Dupesovski

Rory Wale – National Segment Manager VIC

Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome into the UES family in recent months. Getting to know each of you and engaging with our customers, as we identify opportunities to expand our market segments, has been a fulfilling experience.

In the coming year, my focus is to implement a strategic sales strategy to unlock growth possibilities for the group. Noteworthy trends are emerging in the truck market, with truck sales experiencing a slowdown and chassis availability lead times returning to pre-covid levels. The impact of inflation on these markets is evident, and I am monitoring the flow on effect to our business and customers.

I am also actively exploring opportunities to diversify our markets, particularly in waste services, emergency services, and the mining industry, especially in WA. All of these industries have a high reliance on hardware, and my goal is to help position us as their preferred supplier.

As we approach the festive season, I’m excited to celebrate Christmas with the Victoria team at the Pavilion in Melbourne. As for my personal plans, they’ll involve quality time with my family and venturing into the bush for some enjoyable 4WDing, camping and fishing.

Merry Christmas to all and I look forward to the promising year ahead.


Michael Borsellino – Logistics Manager AZ/Marine

The year began at a steady and consistent pace, and momentum has continued throughout, with an influx of orders that of course we couldn’t be happier about.

July was a real pride moment for us, as it marked the successful completion of the Spirit of Tasmania project. The custom marine seats we meticulously crafted were showcased at the Interferry Conference in Hobart last month and it was a full circle proud moment when the representatives from the Spirit of Tasmania comfortably settled into the chairs at the event, proudly declaring to their delegates “these are the custom seats in our new vessel”.

Another highlight was our efforts for Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), where we crafted over 40 custom Alex Zanda chairs for their new Sydney broadcast and podcast studios. I visited the studio in August to see the chairs in action and am very proud to know that Triple M and 2DayFM radio hosts sit comfortably on Alex Zanda chairs while on air.

Next year has exciting plans in store, with the anticipated expansion of our Marine manufacturing facilities in Greece and forging partnerships with new trade allies in Europe, along with the launch of the innovative honeycomb material for our Overland brand.

Thank you to the St Marys team for your dedication and hard work this year. I appreciate your adaptiveness, engagement, and level of development across the different jobs.

This Christmas I look forward to dethroning Nelson, our reigning lawn bowls champion at the team Christmas party and breaking his two-year winning streak. Watch out Nelson! Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and best wishes for the New Year to all.


Marine Manufacturing Team in front of a Spirit of Tasmania seat. The packed seats are the first set of three sets for Set Schiffbau – Hadag New Ferries Vessel 1 for Germany, that will be shipped out in the next couple of weeks.

L-R: Michael Borsellino, Robert Henderson, Kin Dinh, Damien Arvidson, Michael Dupesovski

Ly Ung – Customer Service Specialist

I’m still quite new to UES, having just joined the team in October, but I’ve experienced a very warm reception and have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the business. As a Customer Service Specialist, I am committed to elevating our customer satisfaction and positioning UES as a standout in exceptional service.

Engaging with our customers has been a genuinely positive experience, even when dealing with escalated issues. This has been a powerful motivator for me to consistently go the extra mile in providing unwavering support and reinforcing the notion that our customer-centric approach is at the heart of everything we do.

Thank you to all for welcoming me into the team and I wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy new year.


Claude Laba – Branch Manager – Sydney

2023 has been an interesting, challenging and overall joyful year at Wetherill Park. We’ve enjoyed expanding our team, reaching some business milestones and supporting our customers with their varied needs throughout the year.

It was wonderful to visit the Sydney 4WD Adventure Show in Eastern Creek and see our sister company Overland exhibiting there, as well as reconnecting with familiar faces and making new friends.

Stock levels are evening out and we’re happy to be filling orders and seeing full shelves – though Bawer toolboxes remain a hot commodity and fly off the shelf as soon as they arrive. We even had one customer take five pallets of them! We appreciate everyone’s patience, and as always we will work to help our customers find solutions that will work for them.

A big thank you to everyone for your continued support and the great opportunities you provide us. I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and I wish you the best for 2024. We look forward to providing you great products and great service again in 2024.


Colin Bentley – WA

We’ve enjoyed a good and steady year in 2023, with stock levels and solid sales that tell us our customers are busy. I’m fortunate to have a great team backing me every day.

I’m continually amazed by how much the 4WD, truck and camping industry has grown in WA. Sales have not slowed down even with the high cost of vehicles. The market certainly has not dwindled since the Covid peak.

I’m grateful to my hard-working team who bring their best every day to support our customers, including the many long term customers who have trusted us for years, and those new to us. We’re excited to have added BHP to our customer ranks this year and to be supplying them with a wide range of components.

We’re all keen to take a breather over the Christmas break. Our team will be headed to the local tavern for a well-earned steak and beers. Then I’m headed to my usual spot in Shark Bay to test out my new hybrid camper and celebrate Christmas with the extended family – all 35 of us.

A big thanks everyone at UES for their support. The way everyone pulls together to share stock and help us deliver for our customers is really great to see. Most importantly, thanks to our valued customers. It’s a pleasure to work with you and we wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024.


Colin Stevenson – VIC Sales and Business Manager

2023 has been a remarkable year for us in Victoria. To our customers, we have enjoyed welcoming you into our store, providing an abundance of resources and assisting with your hardware needs.

The launch of our eComm site has made doing business with us even easier and we’re working towards streamlining processes for our account holders.

Building on the success from last year, we secured the Yarra Trams contract to repair and refurbish the seats for their trams across the City of Melbourne. The team has been diligently working on this project, currently repairing about one seat per week. We have our sights set on a similar venture, as another substantial Melbourne tender that recently surfaced.

I’d like to congratulate the Victoria team for their outstanding efforts throughout the year and extend my gratitude to UES management and the branches for their support. We’ll be celebrating the year end with a nice lunch before taking a break to recharge and come back fresh in 2024.

To our valued customers, thank you for your support. We wish you a merry Christmas and we look forward to serving you with the same dedication in the coming year.


David Chand – SA Sales and Business Manager

This year was bustling with activity as our customers got on with a wide range of projects. Stock levels have greatly improved as supply chains start to normalise, and our branches have worked hard to collaborate and redistribute inventory to meet our customers’ needs. Our customers have been both patient and grateful for those efforts, and we appreciate the support. Putting our customers first is always our primary goal.

There are always interesting projects to support and a noteworthy achievement this year was our involvement in working with a new customer called ShowTrek. They build stages for musical and theatre productions in the entertainment industry and buy specialist components from us.

It’s this variety and our great customer relationships that keep me in my role – and 2023 marked a significant milestone for me as I celebrated my 35th anniversary with UES! The management team visited Adelaide to host a dinner in my honour, presenting me with a commemorative plaque. It was a thoughtful gesture and I’m grateful for the recognition of my contributions over the years.

On a bittersweet note, we bid farewell to Christopher Bickle, our esteemed colleague and resident rubber expert. Christopher’s contributions to Fitch The Rubber Man/UES Int since 2007 have been invaluable. As he embarks on a well-deserved retirement in early 2024, his expertise and warm presence will be dearly missed by colleagues and customers alike. We wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.

Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate the enhancement of the customer portal on our website, which will allow customers to manage their accounts directly and provide greater flexibility in the way you interact with us.

As Christmas approaches, we plan to gather at the racetrack for a flutter and a few drinks. It’s a wonderful time to express gratitude to the team and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year.

We’d like to wish our customers, staff, and everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy new year.


Dono Bain – NZ Account Manager

2023 has been a mostly good year with many positives and a shifting market in New Zealand as we focus more on fleet work and bigger volume operators as well as the growing recreational vehicle market, while continuing to service our established customer base.

We have a very loyal customer base who’ve been understanding during some of the more challenging periods, as New Zealand deals with recession and some other bumps on the road.

Notable mentions go to Judge & Company, a vehicle outfitter for tradies and adventure based vehicles; GM Fabrications in the South Island, a ute canopy and fleet conversion company; and of course Pacific Helmets, who continue to use our rubber trim to make helmets for fire fighters, adventure sports and ATV drivers. They are one of the biggest safety helmet manufacturers in the world and produce and supply helmets for Europe, North America and Australiasia. We also supply child restraint seats for around 180 new ambulances for a local operator in Wellington.

We thank each of them, and all of our customers, for choosing us and for the support over the years.

I appreciate the hard work and dedication from my team. We will celebrate Christmas together over Brazilian BBQ (Churrasco) and look forward to enjoying the holiday break. Personally, I will be spending Christmas in my newly built home with family and friends.

I’d like to thank the UES family for their support over the year and I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas. Our team looks forward to working with you all in the new year.


Nathan Trezise – Branch Manager NT

In March, I stepped into the role of NT branch manager and it’s been an interesting and rewarding experience. We’ve had to navigate through some supply chain challenges, but I am committed to managing expectations and ensuring our customers’ projects stay on track and, as we close out the year, things are certainly on the up.

Our customer base remains consistent, with a strong DIY community accustomed to ‘doing it themselves’, given their remote living situation. The thriving caravan and 4WD community continues to boom, with our customers engaging in some really interesting projects. 4WD canopy builders remain “crazy busy” fulfilling orders from a year and a half ago and its great business for us.

I’ve been holding down the fort solo while looking for someone to join the branch team. Recruitment poses a challenge across NT as we compete with the mining industry, but lucky for me, I’ve had Bob, our retired branch manager pop in now and then to help out and I’m very grateful to have had the extra set of hands plus his impressive wealth of knowledge.

As the year comes to a close, I look forward to taking a well-earned break before getting back into supporting our customers not only obtaining what they need but expanding their range through our products. There are some exciting projects kicking off in the NT in the next few years and I’m excited to be supporting them.

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing break. Stay safe, and here’s to a prosperous new year.


UES QLD team Christmas party. Pictured left to right on the boat – Darren Hynes and Aaron Fearn. On the beach left to right – Robert Skitch, Ashley Jones, Marty Stowe, Todd Lourigan, Steve Alger and myself

Shaun Edwards – Queensland Sales & Business Manager

The Queensland branch is celebrating a record year, buoyed by the leisure sector which shows no signs of slowing down, and marked by enhanced stock levels and the strategic use of air freight to promptly fulfill our customers’ needs.

Drawer slides and gas struts continue to be some of our most popular items, but the standout performer remains rubber, courtesy of our valued customer Norweld, who manufacture and fit-out trays and canopies. We proudly welcomed a new distributor, Central QLD Engineering Hardware, based in Rockhampton and we were proud to be retained as one of Zone-RV’s select suppliers, following a supplier list review.

We have expanded our team to support our online operations which we plan to grow and while we are understaffed, the team has demonstrated exceptional dedication, and I express my heartfelt gratitude for everyone’s hard work.
This year we celebrated Christmas on a beautiful sunny day with beers, BBQ and fishing on a pontoon at the Gold Coast – a fitting break for the entire team. Personally, I am looking forward to spending quality time with the family in Childers.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year. To our valued customers, thank you for your ongoing business, patience and understanding during stock challenges.