Companies that concentrate on their core business dramatically improve their odds of success in a downturn. About 95% of the companies that qualify as "sustained value creators"—those that maintained at least a 5.5% real growth rate in revenue and profit over ten years while earning back their cost of capital—are leaders in their core businesses. They not only perform better during expansions but recover faster when growth rebounds from an economic slump. During the last recession, for example, the average net profit margins of this group bounced back to 6.5% in 2002, only slightly below pre-recession levels in 2000. Their competitors fared much worse, with average net profit margins falling to around 1% during the same period, a drop of about 3 percentage points.