What is the Return on Sales?

Return on Sales

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Return on Sales

Return on Sales (ROS), often referred to as the operating profit margin, is a financial metric used to assess a company’s operational efficiency. It calculates the percentage of revenue or sales that turns into profit before accounting for interest and taxes. Essentially, it shows how much profit is produced per dollar of sales.

The formula for ROS is:

ROS = Operating Profit (EBIT) / Sales (Revenue)


  • Operating Profit (EBIT) stands for Earnings Before Interest and Taxes. This represents the profit from the company’s core business operations, disregarding the costs of financing and tax implications.
  • Sales (Revenue) is the total income from goods sold or services provided during a certain time frame.

ROS provides insights into the core operations of a company, indicating how efficiently it can convert sales into profit. A high ROS suggests the company is well-managed and has strong control over its costs, while a low ROS could indicate potential operational inefficiencies.

Example of the Return on Sales

Let’s dive into a fresh example to illustrate the concept of Return on Sales (ROS).

Let’s consider a fictional bakery named “Sweet Delights.”

Sweet Delights Financials:

  • Operating Profit (EBIT): $200,000
  • Sales (Revenue): $1,500,000

To calculate the Return on Sales (ROS) for Sweet Delights:

  • Determine the ROS:
    ROS = Operating Profit / Sales
    ROS = $200,000 / $1,500,000
    ROS = 0.1333 or 13.33%


The Return on Sales for Sweet Delights is 13.33%. This implies that for every dollar Sweet Delights makes in sales, it retains approximately 13.33 cents as operating profit before considering interest and taxes.

If Sweet Delights were looking to benchmark its efficiency, it would compare this 13.33% ROS with other bakeries or similar businesses in its region or industry. If the industry average ROS is, for example, 10%, then Sweet Delights is performing efficiently in converting its sales to profit. Conversely, if the industry average is 15%, Sweet Delights might consider examining its costs or pricing strategy to identify potential areas for improvement.

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