The operating margin (operating profit margin) calculator enables you to assess your operating margin. Have you ever wondered how to calculate your firm’s profit per product sold, the profitability of each sold product, or net income? With this calculator, you will be able to follow the whole process. Learning the process is quite easy and useful for any business owner. This tool will help you understand and calculate your business operating margin.

What is the operating margin?

Operating margin measures profit a company makes after paying variable production costs but before paying taxes or other interests. In other words, operating margin helps us calculate the effectiveness of manufacturing a particular product by a company before any taxes. The costs of producing a specific product involve taxes and work power, energy costs, raw materials, and delivery of such materials. For example, if a company in question had $1000 in revenue from a particular product and the cost of sold goods was $250 and other administration expenses were $250, they would have an operating margin of 50 percent. For instance, if the company got a better deal on raw materials they would lower the net costs of This operating margin calculator enables you to calculate a company’s operating margin. Analysts use the operating margin to determine the profitability of a company.

How to calculate operating margin?

To calculate the operating margin first, we calculate operative earnings. Operative earnings are profits made after subtracting from revenues all expenses that are (directly) associated with the operation of the business. In short, operative earnings are a firm’s earnings before interest and taxes(or EBIT, ebit). Subsequently, we then divide Operative earnings(EBIT or ebit) by revenues.

Operating profit margin formula

First, calculate EBIT(earnings before interest and taxes, in some cases ebit) or operative earnings. Then, from total revenue, subtract costs of goods sold(COGS) and other administrative costs.

 Operative\;earnings\; = \;Revenue\; - \;(COGS\; +\; Administrative costs) 

The operative margin is then computed by dividing operative earnings(COGS) and total revenue the company made.

Operative\; margin\; =\; \frac{Operative\;earnings}{Revenue} 

The limitations of the operating profit margin

The most significant limitation of operating margin is difficulty in comparing companies with different business models. For an adequate operating margin comparison, we would need two companies with a similar, or ideally the same, business model. If the comparison is not an oranges-to-oranges comparison, then the contrast between two companies operating margins is purposeless. When it comes to comparing firms, analysts generally avoid using operating margins. However, a better way to compare would be using EBITDA(earnings before interests, taxes, deprecation, and amortization). In general, EBITDA is often used as a proxy to minimize the limitations of an operating profit margin because it includes non-cash expenses(IE., depreciation).

Other limitations stem from a possibility of misunderstanding or misusing information we get from the operating profit margin. One of the most common misuses of such information is disregarding interest, taxes, deprecation, and amortization. In such cases, the company might disregard such taxes and believe that the profit is the same as the operating margin. For example, if the operating margin is 10 percent then the business is not sustainable.

Gross margin vs. operating margin

Gross profit margin(or just gross margin) equates to net sales subtracted by COGS(costs of goods sold). In most cases, COGS includes all the expenses directly related to the production of a product. Those costs are labor costs, raw materials, and delivery of such materials. Often they are called “costs of goods sold,” “costs of products sold,” or in some cases, “cost of sales.” The gross profit margin is calculated per-product basis and is most helpful in analyzing a product suite. The formula for gross profit margin:


Net sales(or net profit) are revenues received from selling a certain product or service. While operating profit margin(or just operating margin): subtract admission costs and COGS from total revenue. Bankers use operating profit margins to determine the profitability of a firm. The formula for operating margin:

Operative\; margin\; =\; \frac{Operative\;earnings}{Revenue}

Operating margin vs. profit margin

The most notable distinction between operating margin and profit margin is that operating margin calculates all expenses in production(IE overhaul, labor, raw materials…). On the other hand, profit margin only includes fees directly involved in production(IE labor, raw material but not overhaul). For example, a company makes $1000 and the total cost for overhaul, labor, and raw materials is $500, in this case, the operating margin is 50 percent. On the other hand, if costs for labor, raw materials but without the costs of the overhaul are 400 then the profit margin is 60 percent. Because of errors created by disregarding the costs of overhaul, it is more common to use operating margin.

Operating margin ratio

The operating margin ratio equates to the profitability ratio, which measures the percentage of the total revenue of operating income. It demonstrates how much revenue we have after compensating for all expenses related to the product. These leftover finances will cover other interests and taxes. The formula for operating margin ratio:


The operating margin ratio is the best indicator for any investor about the company’s support of operations. For instance, if the company in question needs income from multiple sources of their operational and non-operational businesses the operation is not sustainable. In a case that the company has an operating margin ratio of 20 percent. It means that after paying the expenses for all the costs of goods sold(COGS) only 20 percent is left to pay off other interests and taxes. In general, for every dollar of a sold product, after paying 80 percent on labor, raw material, and overhaul only 20 cents are left for other taxes. For most businesses, especially the small ones, a good operating margin ratio is 15 percent or higher.


What is a good operating margin?

The higher the operating margin, the better, indicating the company’s profitability. A good operating margin is 15 percent or higher.

Can operating margin be negative?

Yes, indeed, operating margins can be negative. If, for example, administrative costs and COGS are higher than revenues, then the company is losing money on such a product, and it has to find a new way to generate income.

How can a company improve its operating margin?

There are multiple ways to improve operating margins. For example, increasing prices, increasing sales, or having a better deal with their supplier for raw materials. Saving a percentage of costs for raw materials could make a significant difference.

What does operating margin measure?

The operating margin equates to the profit a company makes on a dollar of sales after accounting for administrative costs and all the costs directly involved with the production, but before interest and taxes.

What is the operating income margin?

Operating income margin(operating margin) is a measure, in percentages, of how much profit a company has after paying expenses that are directly related to the product. This profit is total gain before any taxes or interest.