Building Your Business Operations & Success Accounting How To Determine Operating Profit Margin Ratios Operating Profit Margin Ratio Formula and Uses By Rosemary Carlson Rosemary Carlson Rosemary Carlson is a finance instructor, author, and consultant who has written about business and personal finance for The Balance since 2008. Along with teaching finance for nearly three decades at schools including the University of Kentucky, Rosemary has served as a financial consultant for companies including Accenture and has developed online course materials in finance for universities and corporations. learn about our editorial policies Updated on September 13, 2022 Fact checked by Hilarey Gould Fact checked by Hilarey Gould Twitter Website Hilarey Gould has spent 10+ years in the digital media space, where she's developed a passion for helping people understand economics, saving, investing, credit card perks, mortgage rates, and more. Hilarey is the editorial director for The Balance and has held full-time and freelance roles at a variety of financial media companies including realtor.com, Bankrate, and SmartAsset. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor's in journalism and professional writing from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). learn about our editorial policies Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Calculating Operating Profit Margin Ratio Operating Profit Margin Ratio Example Why Is It Important? Limitations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images Your company's operating profit margin is the ratio you get when you divide operating income by your sales revenue. It's a type of profitability ratio known as a margin ratio. This ratio is important because it tells you how well your company's operations contribute to its profitability. A company with a large profit margin ratio makes more money on each dollar of sales than a company with a small profit margin ratio. Key Takeaways Your operating profit margin ratio shows you how profitable your company is. The larger the ratio, the more money your company makes on each dollar of sales. To calculate your company's operating profit margin ratio, divide your operating income by your net sales revenue. You can find the inputs you need for calculating a company's operating profit margin on its income statement. Formula for Calculating Operating Profit Margin Ratio To calculate your company's operating profit margin ratio, divide its operating income by its net sales revenue: Operating Profit Margin = Operating Income / Net Sales Revenue In some cases, operating income goes by the name Earnings Before Income and Taxes (EBIT). Operating income or EBIT is all the income left on your income statement after subtracting operating costs and overhead, such as selling costs, administration expenses, and the cost of goods sold (COGS). You can calculate that like this: Operating Income (EBIT) = Gross Income - (Operating Expenses + Depreciation & Amortization Expenses) You'll also need to find the net sales revenue for your business before you can determine your operating profit margin. Finding your net sales requires no calculation because the sales shown on your income statement are net sales. If that figure is unavailable, you can calculate net sales by taking the company's gross sales and subtracting its sales returns, allowances for damaged goods, and any discounts offered. An Example of Calculating Operating Profit Margin Ratio Let's say your small business has a gross income of $250,000 for the last 12-month period—that's also your net sales revenue. The cost of goods sold and operating expenses for the same time period equals $175,000. First, we need to calculate the operating income (or EBIT), which is your gross income or net sales revenue minus your operating expenses and the cost of goods sold: $250,000 - $175,000 = $75,000 Now, we can calculate the operating profit margin ratio, which is operating income ($75,000) divided by your net sales revenue ($250,000). $75,000 / $250,000 = 0.3 Your operating profit margin ratio is 0.3, or 30%. For every $1 of sales, your company makes 30 cents of profit. Why Is Operating Profit Margin Ratio Important? The operating profit margin ratio is a useful indicator of your company's financial health. It can be used to compare your company with its competitors or similar companies. For example, a company with a ratio of 8% whose competitors average more than 10% may be at more financial risk than another company with the same ratio whose competitors average 7%. Note You can also compare a single company's profit margin ratio across multiple fiscal years or quarters to measure whether that business is becoming more efficient and profitable over time. Companies with high-operating profit margin ratios can generally: Pay for their fixed costs and interest on debtSurvive economic downturnsCompete better because they can offer lower prices than the competition The operating profit margin ratio provides a means of determining how well a company's business model works in comparison to its competitors or across its industry. It serves as a broad indicator of a company's efficiency. Limitations of Operating Profit Margin Ratio Though the operating profit margin ratio is valuable, it also has three main limitations: It shouldn't be used as a stand-alone calculation: The ratio has value when compared to other profit margin ratios, either over time or between businesses.False results can happen: Using incorrect accounting data or financial statements that were prepared using inconsistent accounting standards can create false results.It's not indicative of a company's quality or future: It does not factor in any qualitative information about a company, nor does it give any indication of the probability of future results. The operating profit margin ratio is one of the many tools that can be used to assess your company's financial health. It is a valuable data point, but it should not be the only number used to determine whether your company is profitable and competitive over time. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What does the operating profit margin ratio tell you? The operating profit margin ratio tells you a little bit about the financial health of your company. The larger the ratio, the more profitable your company is. The smaller the ratio, the less profitable. You can use it to compare your company with others, but there are some limitations, such as not giving any indication of future profitability. What is operating profit margin? The operating profit margin is the ratio you get when you divide operating income by net sales revenue. If it's positive, it'll be higher than 0. If it's 0, the company is breaking even. If it's a negative number, the company operates at a loss. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Beginners' Guide to Financial Statements." State Archives of North Carolina. "A Primer on Interpreting Hospital Margins," (PDF Download).