In 2012, in the midst of the euro crisis, with an order book of €5 billion and a share price of around €30, Rheinmetall was valued at x0.3 its sales and x6 its book profit.

It had delivered only modest growth over the past decade; between its defense and automotive businesses, it was unclear where it was going. Finally, it was accepted that military budgets would continue to decline due to the budget crisis.

Ten years later, the euro has survived, the group has clarified its strategy, Russia has attacked Ukraine, and everything has changed since Rheinmetall is now valued at x1.5 its turnover and x17 its profit.

Its order book has literally exploded following the announcement of rearmament by Germany and its strategic partners within NATO. It has increased sixfold between 2012 and 2022, from €5 to €30 billion.

Growth is also evident in the combat vehicles division - sales up 21%, operating profit up 48% - and in the ammunition division, which specializes in small and large caliber shells - sales up 19%, operating profit up 40%.

The other divisions recorded more modest growth and margins in line with their historical averages. At the consolidated level, Rheinmetall is delivering record sales and an operating margin of 11.3%, higher than Thales and similar to Lockheed-Martin's to the nearest decimal point.

For fiscal year 2023, management expects sales growth of between 15% and 20%, as well as an operating margin of around 12%. Earnings per share should reach €14 this year, roughly four times its annual average over the last decade.

The share price, of course, reflects this evolution, as it has also quadrupled. After two more or less flat cycles - a disappointing period from 2002 to 2012 with no growth, and a period from 2012 to 2022 that was uneven and largely devoted to restructuring - a new paradigm has opened up for Rheinmetall.

At 247 euros, the price represents a multiple of x17 the expected profits in 2023, and x14 the expected profit in 2024. The question remains whether the "new normal" of 2022 has anything to envy the one projected by investors ten years earlier.