Profitability ratios are a set of dimensions used to find out the ability of a business to create earnings. These ratios are considered to be favorable when they improve spanning a trend line or perhaps are comparatively a lot better than the results associated with competitors.


Profitability ratios are based on a comparison associated with revenues to change groupings of expenses from the income statement. The principle ratios are the following:

Contribution margin ratio. Subtracts all variable expenses from the income statement coming from sales, and then divides the result by sales. This is used to determine the proportion of product sales still available all things considered variable costs to cover fixed costs along with generate a benefit. This is useful for breakeven analysis.

Gross profit ratio. Subtracts all costs connected to the cost of goods sold in the income statement from sales, and then divides the outcome by sales. This is used to find out the proportion of sales still obtainable after goods and services have been sold to pay for selling and managerial costs and produce a profit. This ratio includes the allotment of fixed costs to the cost of goods sold, so that the result tends to yield a slighter percentage than the contribution margin ratio.

Net profit ratio. Subtracts all expenses in the income statement via sales, and then divides the effect by sales. This is used to look for the net amount connected with earnings generated in the reporting period, net of taxes. If the accrual time frame of accounting is needed, this can cause a figure that takes a different approach from what cash flows would suggest, due to the accrual of expenses which have not yet transpired.


A different class of profitability ratios compare the outcomes listed on the income statement on the information on the total amount sheet. The intent of such measurements is to examine the efficiency with which management can easily produce profits, in comparison to the amount connected with equity or property at their fingertips. If the outcome of these measurements is high, it means resource usage has become minimized. The main ratios on this category are:

  • Return on assets. Divides net profits by the quantity of assets for the balance sheet. The measurement might be improved using a tight credit insurance plan to reduce the amount of accounts receivable, a just-in-time production system to cut back inventory, and by advertising off fixed assets which have been rarely used. The effect varies by sector, since some industries require a lot more assets than others.
  • Return on equity. Divides net profits by the quantity of equity for the balance sheet. The measurement might be improved by funding a bigger share of functions with debt, and by making use of debt to obtain back shares, thereby minimizing the usage of equity. Doing so might be risky, if a business doesn’t experience sufficiently steady cash flows to settle the debt.


When using profitability ratios, it is greatest to evaluate a company’s results for the present period to the results for the similar period in the previous year. The cause is that many organizations have seasonal sales, which causes their profitability ratios to differ considerably over the course of a year.