Net Profit

Net Profit is a measure of profitability of the company after taking into consideration all costs incurred during an accounting period. Net profit is also referred to as net income, net earnings, bottom line, profit after tax (commonly known as PAT) etc.

Meaning of Net Profit

In simple words, it is the money left over after paying off all expenses including cost of goods sold, selling and administrative expenses, operating and non-operating expenses, depreciation, interest payments, preference dividend (if any) and taxes. Net income is reported on the income statement (profit and loss account) and forms a key indicator of a company’s performance.

Net profit or earnings are different from Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT; aka Operating Income / Operating Profit) and Earnings before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortisation (EBIDTA). Let us look at an example of income statement to get a clear understanding of the various elements of an income statement.

Example of Income Statement:

Income Statement   Amount in Mio
Sales revenue $ 600
Less: Cost of goods sold $ 275
Gross Profit (GP) $ 325
Less: Operating Expenses
Salary $ 30
Rent $ 20
Wages $ 6
Utilities $ 4
Other operating expenses $ 10 $ 70
EBIDTA $ 255
Less: Depreciation $ 30
Less: Amortisation $ 10
EBIT (Operating Income) $ 215
Less: Interest $ 15
Profit Before Tax (PBT) $ 200
Less: Tax ( 35%) $ 70
Profit After Tax (Net Profit) $ 130

To understand net profit closely, let us understand the terms which are used in deriving net profit in an income statement:

Gross Profit

Gross profit is the difference between the revenue generated and cost incurred in making the product to be sold or services to be rendered. It is also referred to as sales profit which in our example is $ 600 – $ 275 = $ 325.


Earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortisation is a financial measure to represent the cash flow situation of a company. It is a measure usually used by lenders to ascertain that the company has enough cash flow available to make interest and principal repayments on loans that will be given. It is also used to gauge the short-term liquidity health of the company. A company with a negative EBIDTA may be more worrisome for a lender to give any new credit line too.


Earnings before interest and taxes is more commonly referred to as operating income or operating profit and is a measure of company’s earning ability. Operating income is the income generated by the company by its day to day operating activities. It signifies how stable revenue of the company is. A company with a stable EBIT or increasing EBIT is considered favourable even if the profits of the company are fluctuating.


Profit before taxes is the earnings just before making the tax payments and PAT is the profits booked by the company post payment of tax. PAT is also referred to as the net earnings or net income or net profit or the bottom line. Net profit is the key number which determines the final profitability of the company and there are various financial ratios that are linked to net profit for analysing the performance or year-on-year growth of a company.

Retained Earnings

Retained earnings refers to that part of the profit which is ploughed back into the business. This is the amount of net earnings invested back in the business after deducting the amount paid as dividends to the shareholders. If no dividends are paid the retained earnings will be same as net earnings or net profit for the year.


Last updated on : July 31st, 2017
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