They were very well received by the market, and for good reason: sales rose by 19% and free cash flow by 36% for the year 2023, while financial leverage fell significantly.

Organic growth reached 8%. This is considerably less than last year's performance, but it should be remembered that the latter was based on an exceptional post-pandemic economic recovery: the basis for comparison is therefore not entirely legitimate.

Diploma is one of the few successful roll-ups. All its profits have been reinvested in a well-executed external growth strategy, without excessive recourse to capital increases or leverage.

Over the past fifteen years, the Group's sales and profits have grown by an average of 15% a year. As a result, market capitalization has increased more than tenfold over this period.

All is not perfect, however: profitability has fallen sharply over the past four years, while earnings per share have stagnated. The law of large numbers will undoubtedly make the next decade more difficult than the last, as it is likely to be harder to make large-scale acquisitions profitable.

These factors have not escaped the attention of the market, which has readjusted the Group's valuation to x18 its operating profit, in line with its ten-year average. Management seems to think this is fair, since last March it carried out a capital increase at these same levels, exactly as it did three years ago.