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Gross Profit

The difference between sales and the cost of goods sold.

Business Glossary provided by

Gross profit is a company's revenue minus its cost of goods sold (COGS). It represents the amount of money a company makes from its products or services before deducting operating expenses, taxes, interest, etc. Gross profit margin, a related metric, indicates the percentage of revenue that exceeds the COGS and is a key indicator of a business's production efficiency. The gross profit figure is critical because it is used to calculate the gross profit margin. This margin, in turn, provides insight into the financial health of a company, indicating how efficiently it is using labor and supplies in the production process and how effectively the company's pricing strategy is being implemented.

Context of Use:

Gross profit is a financial metric used to assess a company's profitability before accounting for fixed costs such as overhead, payroll, taxation, and interest payments. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold (COGS) from total revenue. This figure provides insight into the efficiency of a business in terms of production and pricing strategies.


The primary purpose of gross profit is to measure a company's manufacturing and distribution efficiency relative to its sales. It indicates how well a company controls its production costs or the margins obtained from its products. Gross profit is a crucial indicator for managers and investors as it reflects the core profitability of a company's operations before indirect costs are considered.


If a company earns $500,000 in sales revenue and incurs $300,000 in COGS, the gross profit would be $200,000. This gross profit figure shows the amount available to cover operating expenses, invest back into the business, pay debt obligations, and return profits to shareholders.

Related Terms:

  • Net Profit: The actual profit after working expenses not included in the calculation of gross profit have been paid.

  • Revenue: The total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services related to the company's primary operations.

  • Operating Profit: Profit earned from a firm's core business operations, excluding deductions of interest and tax.

  • Margin: Refers to the difference between the selling price of a product and the cost of production, expressed as a percentage of revenue in the context of gross, operating, and net margins.


  1. How is gross profit different from net profit?

    Gross profit measures profitability after subtracting only the cost of goods sold from revenue, focusing on production and sales efficiency. Net profit, on the other hand, accounts for all expenses, including operating expenses, interest, taxes, and other non-operational costs.

  2. Why is gross profit important to track?

    Tracking gross profit helps businesses identify product pricing issues, control product costs, and make decisions about scaling production, entering new markets, or discontinuing products.

  3. Can gross profit be negative?

    Yes, gross profit can be negative if the cost of goods sold exceeds revenue. This situation indicates that a company is selling its products for less than it costs to produce them, which is unsustainable in the long term.

  4. How can a company improve its gross profit?

    Improvements can be made through increased prices, reduced production costs via efficiency gains or cheaper materials, or by shifting sales focus to higher-margin products.

  5. Does a high gross profit always ensure business success?

    Not necessarily. While a high gross profit is a positive indicator of manufacturing and sales efficiency, the company must also manage its operating expenses, taxes, and other costs effectively to be financially successful.

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