Return on Sales


Definition

Return on sales (ROS) is net profit as a percentage of sales revenue. ROS is an indicator of profitability and is often used to compare the profitability of companies and industries of differing sizes. Significantly, ROS does not account for the capital (investment) used to generate the profit. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 69 percent responded that they found the “return on sales” metric very useful.[1]

Purpose

These financial metrics measure levels and rates of profitability. How does a company decide whether it is successful or not? Probably the most common way is to look at the net profits of the business. Companies are collections of projects and markets, individual areas can be judged on how successful they are at adding to the corporate net profit. Not all projects are of equal size, however, and one way to adjust for size is to divide the profit by sales revenue. The resulting ratio is return on sales (ROS), the percentage of sales revenue that gets ‘returned’ to the company as net profits after all the related costs of the activity are deducted.

Construction

Return on sales (ROS): Net profit as a percentage of sales revenue.

      Return on sales (%) = Net profit ($) ÷ Sales revenue ($)

References

  1. ^ Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; and David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Second Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. <http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Metrics-Definitive-Measuring-Performance/dp/0137058292>

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