written by | April 29, 2022

What Is Operating Income? How Is It Calculated?

Your company should evaluate numerous financial data when assessing its fiscal viability. The data you get from such reports reflect how financially sound your firm is, and lenders and investors will also ask to see those statistics if you're looking for money. One of the quantities you should be analysing is operating income.

Operating income is a metric that illustrates how much of an income statement will turn into profits in the long run. Operating income, referred to as operating profit or recurrent profit, is similar to a company's earnings before interest and taxes. The only significant distinction between these two is that the latter includes all non-operating income generated by the company.

Did You Know?

Operating income analysis plays a vital role since it excludes one-time items such as taxes, which can alter a company's financial performance in a particular year.

Operating Income

Operating income, often referred to as income from operations, is estimated by subtracting all operational expenses from a firm's annual revenue, equivalent to total revenue minus the cost of goods sold, amortisation, and other expenses. Operating expenditures are incurred due to a firm's usual operations, such as office equipment and electricity. 

In its most basic meaning, operating income pertains to your company's ability to produce revenue through its day-to-day operations. It calculates the amount of money a firm earns from its main business activities, excluding income unrelated to its day-to-day operations.

For example, suppose a milk manufacturing company could create additional revenue through real estate investment property. In that case, the sales revenue or renting of the real estate assets will not be appended to the firm's operating income since this property investment isn't a component of the company's primary operating activities of producing milk.

Also Read: Know about Meaning and Importance of Income Statement

Non-operating income

There is another income category in income statements that is not immediately tied to an entity's primary operations or day-to-day operations. These earnings are usually coincidental, meaning they don't happen regularly. These headings generally refer to revenue from other sources, such as commissions.

  • Profit from the sale of investments (assets)
  • Profit from the financial derivatives
  • Profit from foreign currency exchange trades, etc.
  • Income from Interests or Dividends in the company

Operating income is the remaining revenue after deducting operations direct and indirect costs from total sales. Interest paid, bank interest, and other non-operational sources of revenue are excluded from operating income calculations. An increased operating income is viewed positively since it indicates that the top management is earning more revenue while keeping expenses, cost of production, and administration under control.

Companies with growing operating income reduce their operating costs or increase their gross income by extending their activities. Operating income is a separate line item on the income statement that can be seen near the bottom of the statement. It must be listed alongside non-operating income to enable investors to distinguish between the two and identify which money came out of which origins. 

It is not only limited to business, and operating income can be found in households to maintain the budget and evaluate the profit or the savings we did.

Calculating Operating Income

Operating Income = Gross Revenue - Operational Expenses

Or it can be written as:-

Operating income = Net Sales – Actual Costs – Secondary Costs

Net Sales

The lump-sum gained by selling products or services to corporate clients, excluding products returned and any compensation granted to clients, is known as net sales or sales revenue. This can be accomplished through cash or credit sales.

Gross Profit

Gross profit, on the other end, is the financial outcome received after subtracting the cost of products sold and sales returns from total sales income.

Operating Expenses

All expenditures connected with running your primary business activities are included in operating expenses. Electricity, security, lease, staff costs, and health coverage are all included.

Non-operating Expense

It is a one-time or unexpected cost. This can include things like interest, legal fees, devaluation, and the costs of outmoded inventory, among other things.

Direct Costs

The costs incurred and related to creating, purchasing, or providing a product or service. The expenses are specifically tied to the cost of producing goods or services and are sometimes referred to as the cost of goods sold, i.e., sales. Costs might be constant or variable, but they are proportional to the quantity made and sold.

Indirect costs

These are operational costs that are not directly involved in producing or purchasing resale items. These expenses are usually rolled up into a permanent or administrative cost and distributed across multiple operational tasks.

What Can We Understand From Operating Income?

Operating income is a metric that determines how valuable a company's main activities are. The more profitable it is, the larger the operating income is. Many company owners use the operating profit statistics to gauge their company's operational efficiency.

Labour expenses, material prices, and pricing policy are all factors that might affect operating income. Operating income can help business leaders plan for the future about how to expand or where adjustments are necessary because these items are related directly to a company's day-to-day activities.

Importance of Operating Income

Operating income is regarded as a key indicator of a company's efficiency. It is an unbiased estimate of a financial statement's additional earnings, which may subsequently be used to expand the firm. Investors regularly monitor operating profit to gauge a company's efficiency over time.

Operating profit, like gross profit and net profit, is an important financial indicator for determining a company's worth in a potential takeover. The more a company's operational profit grows over time, the more effectively its main business is carried out.

Operating income helps distinguish between operating and non-operating income and expenditures, providing an observer with a comprehensive view of how the company produces revenue.

Creditors and investors could use statistics to assess a company's sales and efficiency without considering interest costs or tax rates, which are two factors that differ from one company to the next. A larger operating income indicates that your company is more likely to repay its debts.

Looking at total revenue or the "bottom line" of their income statement isn't enough for most business owners. It's crucial to dig deeper, and reviewing your operating income every month can help shed more light on your company's overall health. 

Also Read: Accounting Ratios – Meaning, Types, Formulas

Operating Income Examples

Consider the following scenario:

Aditya has a cake bakery and delivery business, and he is planning to expand his business. He is planning to take a business loan and thus would require to show his operating income to the creditors or investors.

Aditya takes a look at his finances and analyses that his business made ₹ 10,00,000 in revenue in the last month.

Other left expenses that were made are:

  1. ₹ 30,000 in electricity
  2. ₹ 80,000 in wages
  3. ₹ 70,000 in insurance 
  4. ₹ 65,000 in property
  5. ₹ 80,000 in charges of vehicles
  6. ₹ 10,000 in workplace supplies
  7. ₹ 70,000 in repairs
  8. ₹ 2,00,000 in cost of goods sold

Gross Income = Revenue - Cost of goods sold

Gross Income = ₹ 10,00,000 - ₹ 2,00,000

Gross Income = ₹ 8,00,000

Operating Income = Gross Income - Operational Expenditure

Operational Expenditure = ₹ 30,000 + ₹ 80,000 + ₹ 70,000 + ₹ 65,000 + ₹ 80,000 + ₹ 10,000 + ₹ 70,000 

Operational Expenditure = ₹ 4,05,000

Operating Income = ₹ 8,00,000 - ₹ 4,05,000

Operating Income = ₹ 3,95,000

Aditya can now demonstrate to the creditors and investors that his company made an operating profit of ₹ 3,95,000 last year.

While a high operating income is usually an indicator of prosperity, there are times when a corporation earns money through activities but has to pay more in taxes and interest. It could be due to each fee, the company's poor financial decisions, or the increased interest rate environment affecting outstanding obligations. Alternatively, a corporation could earn a significant interest income that is not reported as operating income. Operating income demonstrates the company's efficiency in transforming raw materials into profit and the additional costs associated with production.


In the income statement, operating income is recorded. The statement's analysis must provide a clear picture of the operating income and other expenses incurred in evaluating a company's operations. Income statement analysis assesses a firm's financial performance and forecasting potentials based on previous patterns, providing insight into how the business has conducted business in the past.

It's critical to separate the company's earnings into two categories based on its fundamental operating business strategy. To get at core operating income before interest and tax, we must first reduce non-operating incomes and expenses. Operating income is also an important consideration in our daily lives, whether we're constructing a household budget or a company's balance sheet.
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Q: Where can we find out the operating income of a company?


Operating income is shown as a separate line item at the bottom of the income statement. It should be listed next to non-operating income to make it easier for investors to discern between the two and determine where the money comes from.

Q: What is the formula for calculating operating income?


To determine a company's operating income, you'll have to understand its gross revenue and operating expenses. Take the difference between these two amounts to get your company's operating income. The following is the formula for determining operating income:

Gross Income - Operating Expenses = Operating Income.

Q: What methods can be used to boost operating income?


Improving gross income, minimising operating expenses, and enhancing operational efficiency can boost a company's operating income.

Q: Is profit the same as operating income?


No, profit is not the same as operating income. Operating income is the income a company makes from its activities. In contrast, profit is the overall amount of money a firm has made after all of its revenue and expenses have been deducted.

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