Gross Profit Is Not the Same as Gross Margin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on March 12, 2023

Gross Profit vs Gross Margin

Although many people use the terms interchangeably, gross profit and gross margin are not the same.

Gross profit is a currency amount, while margin is a ratio or percentage.

Gross profit margin is the percentage left as gross profit after subtracting the cost of revenue from the revenue.

You calculate it by dividing the gross profit by the revenue.

Gross Margin Calculation

In our coffee shop example above, the gross profit was $80,000 from revenue of $200,000.

This gives a gross profit margin of $80,000 / $200,000 = 40%.

Gross Profit Difference

For every dollar in sales, the coffee shop has 40 cents in gross profit that it can use to pay for other business expenses (and hopefully have something left as net profit if it is a profitable business).

The easiest way to remember the difference between profit and margin is:

  • sales/Income: Dollar amount (as in $1,000)
  • Margin: Percentage (as in 10%)

A Higher Gross Profit Margin Is Better

If a company's gross margin increases, it means that the company is making more money per unit sold.

In other words, the company is becoming more efficient and generating more profits for the same amount of labor and material cost.

The best ways to increase gross margin are to raise prices or reduce the cost of producing the goods or services.

Gross Profit vs Gross Margin FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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