Certainly not the first half of the year, with JD sales up 8% and international expansion continuing apace. This is true in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific - where, incidentally, the group has multiplied its sales by twenty in five years.

All metrics are in the green: margins, return on capital employed, inventory turns, etc. True to its entrepreneurial tradition, JD is as quick to open new stores as it is to close underperforming ones. The first half of the current fiscal year is further proof of this.

The ten-year track record is exceptional, with sales increasing tenfold and operating profit growing at an even faster rate. This expansion was entirely self-financed, without compromising the company's financial position, which remains rock-solid.

In fact, growth absorbed two-thirds of operating cash flow, enabling the Group - in addition to paying a small dividend - to build up a veritable war chest. The latter protects the company from a downturn in the economy, while positioning it for a possible major acquisition.

The £3 billion invested in developing the brand worldwide between 2013 and 2023 has generated excellent returns on investment - difficult to quantify, but certainly superior.

There is every reason to believe that the Rubin family - which controls JD via its holding company Pentland Group - will remain as vigilant about the performance of capital employed in the future as it has been in the past.

Despite these strengths and recent share purchases by members of the management team, JD's valuation is languishing at ten-year lows. Investors are clearly assuming that the company's heyday is behind it.