Gross Profit Margin vs Net Profit Margin: What’s the Difference?

Companies strive for high gross profit margins as they indicate greater degrees of profitability. When a company has a higher profit margin, it means that it operates efficiently. It can keep itself at this level as long as its operating expenses remain in check. Gross profit is the difference between sales revenue and COGS on the income statement.

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. Keep reading to find out how to find your profit margin and what is the gross margin formula. This metric is calculated by subtracting all COGS, operating expenses, depreciation, and amortization from a company’s total revenue.

Gross profit margin shows a company’s profitability only after COGS has been deducted from revenue. Unlike net profit margin, which is a percentage, gross profit is an absolute dollar amount. Gross profit is a measure of the profitability of a company’s core operations, excluding other expenses such as operating expenses, taxes, and interest payments. It provides insight into how much money a company has left over after paying for the direct expenses of producing or acquiring its products or services.

Gross Margin

The contribution margin of individual products is easier to calculate because it only includes expenses that vary directly with sales, such as materials and commissions. Companies use contribution margin to evaluate the profitability of individual products and managers. It’s a tool to evaluate performance because fixed expenses that managers don’t control aren’t included. An understanding of the terms revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), and gross profit are important.

To us, what’s more important is what these terms mean to most people, and for this simple calculation the differences don’t really matter. Luckily, it’s likely that you already know what you need and how to treat this data. This tool will work as gross margin calculator or a profit margin calculator.

  • For most business owners, their main objective is to bring in as much revenue as possible and to increase the earning potential of their business over time.
  • Identifying the most profitable customers can help business owners determine what their ideal customer profile looks like, and plan accordingly.
  • If you’re evaluating a company to invest in, you may wonder which measure is better for considering financial health.
  • Instead of accounting for just the direct cost of creating and selling a product like gross profit margin, net profit margin accounts for all expenses.

Like the gross and net profit margins, the operating profit margin is expressed as a percentage by multiplying the result by 100. Gross margin — also called gross profit margin or gross margin ratio — is a company’s sales minus its cost of goods sold (COGS), expressed as a percentage of sales. Put another what is the journal entry to record sales tax payable way, gross margin is the percentage of a company’s revenue that it keeps after subtracting direct expenses such as labor and materials. The higher the gross margin, the more revenue a company has to cover other obligations — like taxes, interest on debt, and other expenses — and generate profit.

Net profit is the gross profit (revenue minus COGS) minus operating expenses and all other expenses, such as taxes and interest paid on debt. Although it may appear more complicated, net profit is calculated for us and provided on the income statement as net income. The net profit margin shows whether increases in revenue translate into increased profitability. 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. Gross profit is a measure of absolute value, while gross margin is a ratio.

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. Because gross margin encompasses all costs necessary to manufacture a good, some may argue it is a more transparent figure. On the other hand, a company may be able to shift costs from variable costs to fixed costs to “manipulate” or hide expenses easier. Technically, gross margin is not explicitly required as part of externally presented financial statements.

What is the Difference Between Gross Margin vs. Net Profit Margin?

Gross margin encompasses all of the cost of goods sold regardless of if they were a fixed cost or variable cost. There is no definite answer to “what is a good margin” — the answer you will get will vary depending on whom you ask, and your type of business. Firstly, you should never have a negative gross or net profit margin; otherwise, you are losing money. Suppose we’re tasked with calculating the gross margin of three companies operating in the same industry.

Gross Profit vs Gross Margin FAQs

Gross profit margin is shown as a percentage while gross profit is an absolute dollar amount. Profit margin is a percentage measurement of profit that expresses the amount a company earns per dollar of sales. For example, if Store A and Store B have the same sales, but Store A’s gross margin is 50 percent and Store B’s gross margin is 55 percent, which is the better store?

The Plain-English Guide to Revenue Run Rate [Infographic]

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 – variable costs) / revenue. Thus, the contribution margin in our example is 40%, or ($10,000 – $6,000) / $10,000. 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.

Formula and Calculation of Gross Profit Margin

The key point is that a gross margin percentage is just a consideration and may not be true indicator of a well-implemented pricing strategy. Your store’s net income, or profit, is $17,500, which would give you a net profit margin of just over 23%. According to the Corporate Finance Institute, a good net profit margin is more than 10%—so it looks like your store is doing well. Let’s explore how net profit margin might be calculated based on a real-world example. COGS include all expenses directly related to manufacturing a product or delivering a service. Variable expenses are all expenses directly related to the unit being sold that change with the number of sales.

Both gross and profit margins provide valuable insight into the financial health of a business. These values measure how effective a company currently is at earning a profit based on the goods and services sold. The difference between the two involves the factors used to determine profitability. Ideally, your company’s gross profit margin should be high enough to cover your operating costs allowing some profit to be leftover. Any additional funds can be used for other expenses such as dividend payments or marketing collateral.

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. Businesses looking to increase their net profit margin should consider strategies that either increase revenue or decrease costs. The former could include raising prices, introducing new revenue streams, or engaging in promotions to bring in more customers. You could focus on cutting down COGS or operating expenses (or both) by more effectively managing inventory, buying materials at a better rate, or refinancing business loans. Net profit margin is one of the most important indicators of your business’s overall financial health.

What Does Gross Profit Margin Indicate?

Understanding both is important for getting a well-rounded view of the financial performance of your company, and are useful data points for determining both short and long-term financial strategies. “I don’t really want my business to have higher profits,” said no entrepreneur ever. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 3-day trial of Shopify. Get free online marketing tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox. Amanda Bellucco-Chatham is an editor, writer, and fact-checker with years of experience researching personal finance topics.

A low net profit margin might mean that a business is buying too much inventory, paying too high a storefront rent, or using a poor pricing strategy. The net profit margin helps you assess just how profitable your business really is. Gross profit margin and contribution margin are both analysis tools that look at profits from different perspectives.