Gross Margin vs Gross Profit: Differences and How To Calculate

Gross margin represents how much profit your company has after accounting for the cost of goods sold. Founded in 1993, The Motley Fool is a financial services company dedicated to making the world smarter, happier, and richer. The Motley Fool reaches millions of people every month through our premium investing solutions, free guidance and market analysis on, top-rated podcasts, and non-profit The Motley Fool Foundation. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

  • Both calculations are easy to make if you know a company’s revenue and cost of goods sold.
  • Profit margin is the percentage of profit that a company retains after deducting costs from sales revenue.
  • If this is the case, examine your business policies, as well as how you use your raw materials and labor.
  • It excludes indirect fixed costs, e.g., office expenses, rent, and administrative costs.
  • Gross profit is a measure of absolute value, while gross margin is a ratio.

Given 78% of business owners are preparing for a recession and its impacts in 2023, there is no better time to maximize profitability. For an example of contribution margin, take Company XYZ, which receives $10,000 in revenue for each widget it produces, while variable costs for the widget is $6,000. The contribution margin is calculated by subtracting variable costs from revenue, then dividing the result by revenue, or (revenue free locksmith invoice template – variable costs) / revenue. Thus, the contribution margin in our example is 40%, or ($10,000 – $6,000) / $10,000. On the other hand, internal management may be most interested in the costs that go into manufacturing a good that are controllable. You can use your current gross margin and profit margin as starting points to set your financial goals and then analyze your income statement to figure out how to get there.

Gross margin encompasses all costs of a specific product, while contribution margin encompasses only the variable costs of a good. Without knowing a company’s other financial metrics (such as net revenue), gross profit can be hard to put into perspective. A company’s gross profit figure means little unless you know the total revenue for the same period. A high gross profit and margin are considered positive indicators of a company’s financial health.

What is Gross Profit?

Although many people use the terms interchangeably, gross profit and gross margin are not the same. EBITDA is one indicator of a company’s financial performance and is used as a proxy for the earning potential of a business. EBITDA strips out the cost of debt capital and its tax effects by adding back interest and taxes to earnings. Gross profit and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) each show the earnings of a company. Investors and analysts may want to look at both profit metrics to gain a better understanding of a company’s revenue and how it operates.

It’s interesting how some people prefer to calculate the markup while others think in terms of gross margin. It seems to us that markup is more intuitive, but judging by the number of people who search for markup calculator and margin calculator, the latter is a few times more popular. All the terms (margin, profit margin, gross margin, gross profit margin) are a bit blurry, and everyone uses them in slightly different contexts.

Though the best possible contribution margin is 100% (there are no variable costs), this may mean a company is highly levered and is locked into many fixed contracts. A good contribution margin is positive as this means a company is able to use proceeds from sales to cover fixed costs. Contribution margin is not intended to be an all-encompassing measure of a company’s profitability. However, contribution margin can be used to examine variable production costs. Contribution margin can also be used to evaluate the profitability of an item and calculate how to improve its profitability, either by reducing variable production costs or by increasing the item’s price. Because gross margin encompasses all costs necessary to manufacture a good, some may argue it is a more transparent figure.

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A company can have a high gross profit and margin but still have a low net profit if operating expenses or other costs are high. Conversely, a company with a low gross profit and gross margin can still have a high net profit if it can manage its expenses effectively. It’s also important to note that gross margin and gross profit vary widely between industries. For example, companies in the software industry typically have higher gross margins than those in the retail industry due to the lower cost of goods sold. Gross margin, on the other hand, measures the profitability of a company’s core operations as a percentage of its total revenue.

How to use gross margin to evaluate a company

Calculating your gross profit and gross margin is a good business practice as knowing these metrics can help you identify opportunities to make your business more profitable. Below are a few items to consider when evaluating your gross profit and gross margin. Below is an example of an income statement that shows a company’s total revenues, costs, and expenses. A high gross profit demonstrates an efficient business that is making good use of its materials and direct labor.

In other words, gross profit equals a business’s total sales revenue minus its costs of production, commonly known as cost of goods sold (COGS). This margin calculator will be your best friend if you want to find out an item’s revenue, assuming you know its cost and your desired profit margin percentage. In general, your profit margin determines how healthy your company is — with low margins, you’re dancing on thin ice, and any change for the worse may result in big trouble.

Net profit includes gross profit (revenue minus cost of goods) while also subtracting operating expenses and all other expenses, such as interest paid on debt and taxes. The gross profit margin is the percentage of the company’s revenue that exceeds its cost of goods sold. It measures the ability of a company to generate revenue from the costs involved in production. While calculating gross margin can be helpful for evaluating a company’s reporting periods or similar companies, the metric has more limited value when comparing companies in different industries. Capital-intensive industries, like manufacturing and mining, often have high costs of goods sold, which translates to relatively low gross margins.

Gross margin

Operating income is a company’s profit after subtracting operating expenses or the costs of running the daily business. Operating income helps investors separate out the earnings for the company’s operating performance by excluding interest and taxes. Gross profit margin and contribution margin are both analysis tools that look at profits from different perspectives. Gross profit margin is typically used to get a picture of how the business is performing. It reveals growth trends and can be used as a benchmark against other businesses in the same industry. Contribution margin lends itself to managing product pricing, and the mix of sales.

Some retailers use markups because it is easier to calculate a sales price from a cost. If markup is 40%, then sales price will be 40% more than the cost of the item. If margin is 40%, then sales price will not be equal to 40% over cost; in fact, it will be approximately 67% more than the cost of the item. Gross margin is a kind of profit margin, specifically a form of profit divided by net revenue, e.g., gross (profit) margin, operating (profit) margin, net (profit) margin, etc.

Gross Profit vs Gross Margin: Increasing Income

Also, depending on the type of business you’re in, it may be difficult to calculate COGS for individual products. If a company has $2 million in revenue and its COGS is $1.5 million, gross margin would equal revenue minus COGS, which is $500,000 or ($2 million – $1.5 million). As a percentage, the company’s gross profit margin is 25%, or ($2 million – $1.5 million) / $2 million. On the other hand, a company is not required to externally disclose its amount of variable costs. In its financial statements, it is not required to bifurcate fixed expenses from variable costs. For this reason, contribution margin is simply not an external reporting requirement.

Gross margin includes all expenses directly related to sales, while contribution margin only includes variable expenses related to sales. First, you would need to calculate the gross profit by subtracting the COGS from the revenue. In this case, the COGS is the same as the “Total Costs and Expenses” found on the income statement above.