Sales were up 41% on the first six months of the previous year, while operating profit was up 36%. Cash generation was plentiful, as usual, enabling Heico to complete three small acquisitions.

Last summer, the Group completed the integration of Wencor, a specialist in spare parts distribution and aeronautical maintenance, and incidentally its biggest-ever acquisition. The newcomer naturally made a major contribution to the half-year's growth performance, even if Heico claims organic expansion of 12%.

An exceptional acquirer, the group has also mastered the art of optimizing its product and service portfolio. While inflation has hit other equipment manufacturers hard - and they are still struggling to deliver organic growth - and contributed to a sector-wide squeeze on margins, Heico's profitability remains anchored at an all-time high.

As we predicted at the end of last year, the Group - renowned for its sound management and adherence to the principles of financial orthodoxy - has already embarked on a rapid debt reduction. Its net debt to EBITDA ratio has fallen from x3 to x2.5 in the space of just six months. Short-cycle products - the Group's secret weapon - and the resulting acceleration in cash generation are naturally making things easier.

The share's valuation also remains close to its highs, with a multiple close to x60 the profits expected this year. We'd expect nothing less from a group with a track record that defies cycles. Even in March 2020, at the height of the pandemic panic, the valuation had not fallen below x25 earnings.

Since 1990, on average, the stock has returned an annual performance of 22% to its shareholders. With one-fifth of its capital still controlled by its management team, Heico has earned its place in the best serial acquiers category.