How To Know The Most Suitable Profitability Indicator For Your Business?


Knowing and applying the profitability indicators of a company is essential to find out if its profitability is below or above expectations. It allows you to intervene & take actions to reveal the negative results.

What Are The Profitability Indicators (Of A Company) and How They Work?

Profitability refers to a firm’s profit margin, that is, how much it yields over a period of operating tenure.

If you have doubts whether your business is, or, not performing even with an efficient execution, indicators may be the most practical way to find out. It is through profitability indicators that new investors can decide whether or not to invest money in the company. There are cases where these indices can be revealed and analyzed through a cash flow, for instance.

It is through profitability indicators; that new investor can decide whether or not to invest in a company.

There are cases where these indices can be revealed and analyzed through a cash flow, for instance.


What Is The Importance Of Profitability Indicators For A Company?

#1. By tracking the profitability of your enterprise, you have an opportunity to check if the business is bringing in attractive returns.

#2. Moreover, you can start making non-management related system changes, seek out strategies to increase relevant sales or margins, cut spending, invest in expansion, or, even opt for the sale of a department, branch or the entire company itself. 

#3. Another indicator that is related to profitability is the return term, which is also known as the “payback.”

The return term of a business is the inverse of profitability and is calculated by dividing the investment by the profit of a period.

Business Return Term = 1/Profitability


Business Returns = (Gross Investment/Profitability)


Calculations are of basic nature and without the use of complex financial mathematics. Any investor will know that your company can pay bills, keep up in the market and still make a profit.

In this context, the most traditional profitability indicator for your business to explore, manage and know the future of business is according to its financial indices:


#1. Return on Capital

Restitution on capital is the indicator that shows the profitability of resources and is calculated by dividing Net Income by Shareholders’ Equity.

This index serves to define if the company is an attractive investment for the new members, or if it needs to use its capital to remain forthwith in the hazy market.

Understanding these indices in a metrics table that also points out an average ticket, the number of customers and conversion rates present a clearer picture of the company’s future financial destination, especially regarding new product success and marketing performance.

Entrepreneurs tend to make many mistakes when they ignore that important part of making decisions without first analyzing this index. It can also lead businesses to bankruptcy!

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#2. Return on Equity

One of the leading indicators of profitability of a company is restitution on equity. It is applied with the objective of showing the profitability of the resources invested by the partners or shareholders of the enterprise. This indicator is calculated by dividing the net income by the equity.

The analysis of the return on investment index can show whether the money invested by the partners or shareholders of the company was well used and if it brought internal and external benefits. Thereby, helping in its growth and making it even more attractive to other willing parties to invest in the business.

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#3. Margin Indices

The sale of a product which is based on its price; can be defined by the value of the profit that the company receives in return.

The Margin Index is divided into two parts: the net margin and the operating margin.

The Net Margin has the function of showing the result of net profitability of the business after the deduction of all expenses.

In practice, it is essential to know the actual financial reality of the company and whether it is progressing or going backward.

To get this profitability indicator, you must multiply the net profit by 100 and divide the result by the net sales. Thus, the final result will show the net profit obtained.

The operating margin has the role of measuring what is called pure profit for each unit sold, without understanding financial expenses and other obligations. To reach the value of the operating margin, it is necessary to divide the operating profit according to the number of units sold.


Effective tax rate

Effective Tax Rate proportion is a measurement of a company’s tax rate, calculated by comparing its income tax expense to its pre-tax income.

According to the results, the amount will differ from the company’s stated rate (as per tax return filings), as a result of many accounting factors, one of which includes, foreign exchange provisions.


profitability, Effective Tax Rate, Margin Indices, Return on Equity, Return on Capital, profitability indicator
Image Credits: The KPI Institute