Understanding gross profit: What it is, why it matters, and how to calculate it

a year ago   •   .3 min read

.By Sırma Er
.Table of contents

As a business owner, here’s one of the absolute basics: gross profit. It’s a vital indicator of a company's financial health, making it essential for any business owner to understand. In this article, we will dive into what gross profit is, why it matters, and how to calculate it. Are you ready?

What is gross profit and why does it matter?

Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the cost of goods sold (COGS) and sales returns/allowances from its revenue. To make it even simpler, it's the amount of money your company has left over after you’ve accounted for the direct costs of producing and selling your product or service.

So why is gross profit important? Firstly, it gives an indication of a company's profitability before indirect expenses are factored in. Indirect expenses are things like marketing, research and development, and administrative costs. Secondly, it can help businesses spot areas where they may need to adjust pricing or reduce costs to improve profitability. And finally, gross profit is a key factor in determining a company's net profit, which is the total profit earned after accounting for all expenses, including indirect expenses.

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Gross profit formula and calculation

To calculate gross profit, you need to know your company's revenue and cost of goods sold. Revenue is the total amount of money a company earns from selling its products or services, while COGS is the total cost of producing and delivering those products or services to customers.

The formula for calculating gross profit is simple:

Gross profit = revenue - COGS

For example, if a company has revenue of £10,000 and COGS of £5,000, the gross profit would be:

Gross profit = £10,000 - £5,000 = £5,000

Therefore, the company made £5,000 in profit after accounting for the direct costs associated with producing and selling its products or services.

It's worth noting that if there were any returns and allowances, those would need to be deducted from the gross profit calculation as well. For instance, if there were returns and allowances worth £2,000, the gross profit calculation would be:

Gross profit = £10,000 - £5,000 - £2,000 = £3,000

Calculating your gross profit margin

Gross profit is also used to calculate a business’s gross profit margin.This is a measure of a company's efficiency in generating profits. The gross profit margin is calculated by dividing the gross profit by revenue and multiplying by 100. A higher gross profit margin indicates a company is generating more profit from its sales.

Gross Margin = Gross Profit / Total Revenue x 100

For example, if a company has a gross profit of £5,000 and revenue of £10,000, the gross profit margin would be:

Gross margin = £5,000 / £10,000 x 100 = 50%

This means that for every £1 of revenue, the company is making 50p of gross profit.

As you can see, gross profit is a crucial metric for evaluating your company's financial health and profitability. It represents the profit your company makes after deducting the direct costs of producing and selling its products or services - which is very important to know! By understanding gross profit and how it’s calculated, you can make informed decisions about your profitability or potential profitability if you are in the business planning stage - and identify areas for improvement. Whether it's adjusting pricing or reducing production costs, monitoring gross profit and gross profit margin can help businesses stay profitable and successful in the long term.


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