Break Even Analysis

Break even analysis can be used by a business to calculate the revenue or number of sales units needed in order for the business to make zero profit. At this point the contribution margin (sometimes referred to as the gross margin) is equal to the fixed costs and the business is said to break even or be at its break even point.

Break Even Sales Revenue

The break even point is the level of revenue needed to produce a net income of zero, and is given by the break even analysis formula as follows:

Break even revenue = Fixed costs / Contribution margin %

For example, if a business has operating expenses of 50,000 and a contribution margin percentage of 40%, then the revenue needed to reach break even is calculated as follows:

Break even revenue = Fixed costs / Contribution margin %
Break even revenue = 50,000 / 40%
Break even revenue = 125,000

At a revenue of 125,000, the contribution margin will be 50,000 (125000 x 40%), less the fixed costs of 50,000 gives a net income of zero.

Break Even Formula in Units

Having calculated the break even revenue, and knowing the selling price per unit, then it is possible to calculate the number of units needed to reach break even.

Break even units = Break even revenue / Selling price

Using the example above, if the selling price per unit is 12.50, then the number of units to reach break even is given as follows:

Break even units = Break even revenue / Selling price per unit
Break even units = 125,000 / 12.50
Break even units = 10,000 units

The break even units is 10,000. At this level of sales, the revenue is 125,000 (10,000 x 12.50), and the contribution margin is 50,000 (125,000 x 40%), less the fixed costs of 50,000 gives a net income of zero. The break even units is sometimes referred to as the break even quantity or BEQ.

Income statement at break even
Units 10,000
Revenue (unit 12.50) 125,000
Contribution margin (40%) 50,000
Fixed costs 50,000
Net income 0

In a well managed business, the fixed costs and contribution margin should remain relatively stable. Providing the unit selling price remains the same, then the number of units needed to reach break even is a known figure which can be used on a day to day basis to manage the business. In the above example, the business needs to sell on average 28 units per day (10,000 / 365) to break even. Management now know that anything above that figure means they are profitable, anything below that figure and they will incur losses.

The break even unit formula (bep formula) can also be rewritten in terms of the unit selling price and unit cost price as follows:

Break even units = Fixed costs / (Selling price – Variable cost)

In the example above the unit cost price is 7.50 (12.50 x 60%) and the break even units can be calculated as follows:

Break even units = Fixed costs / (Selling price - Variable cost)
Break even units = 50,000 / (12.50 - 7.50)
Break even units = 10,000 units

Break Even Analysis and Target Profit

A variation of the break even analysis formula can be used to determine the revenue needed to achieve a target profit level.

Sales = (Fixed costs + Target profit) / Contribution margin %

Suppose the target profit level in the example above was 12,000, as before, the fixed costs are 50,000, and the contributions margin percentage is 40%, then the revenue needed to achieve the target profit is given as follows.

Revenue = (Fixed costs + Target profit) / Contribution margin %
Revenue = (50,000 + 12,000) / 40%
Revenue = 155,000

At this level of revenue, the contribution margin is 62,000 (155,000 x 40%), less the fixed costs of 50,000 leaves a net income of 12,000, which is the required target profit. The number of units to achieve the target profit is 12,400, calculated by dividing the break even revenue by the unit selling price (155,000/12.50).

Again, the break even units formula used above can be restated to include a target profit.

Units = (Fixed costs + Target profit) / (Selling price – Variable cost)
Units = (Fixed costs + Target profit) / (Selling price - Variable cost)
Units = (50,000 + 12,000) / (12.50 - 7.50)
Units = 12,400 units

Our break even analysis calculator is available to help calculate the break even revenue based on the current level of sales, contribution margin, and fixed costs.

Break Even Analysis January 28th, 2017Team

You May Also Like


Related pages


discounting notes receivablemarkup on cost calculatorformula for acid test ratioaccruals and deferred incomevariable overhead variancescalculating markup percentageadvantage of payback periodcontribution margin format income statementcalculating a markupkenexa prove it tutorialaccrued expense journalnbv depreciationposting journal entries to ledgerpetty cash log printablepresent value of a lump sum calculatorpetty cash book templateannual depreciation rate formulasalvage value formularule 78 loan calculatorstraight line depreciation equationexample of cash flow statement analysisretail margin calculatorbalance sheet offsetting examplecogm formulaage of accounts receivable formulapreparation of petty cash bookfixed asset schedule templatefixed asset ratio formulaexcel formula fvasset test ratio formulabank reconciliation tutorialaccrued expenses and outstanding expensespresent value of lump sum formulatrade debtor collection periodadjusting entry to record depreciationrop calculatorar turnover ratio formulapurchase price allocation examplevertical common size balance sheetmerchandise accounting definitionaccounting templates excel worksheetsjournal entries of accounts payableaccrued payrollpayback formula excelbasic accounting debit creditexample of payment voucherexcel trial balance templateequation for dividendsimprest moneytvm formulamargin to markup calculatorjournal accounting entries examplesfob plant definitionhow to calculate retained earnings on balance sheetformula for compounding continuouslyperiodic inventory system income statementdirect materials cost formulanormal balance for accounts payablewhat is the profitability indexjournal entry for dividend incomedividends in arrears on cumulative preferred stockwhat is the formula to calculate inventory turnoverfuture value of growing annuity calculatorhow to calculate assets liabilities and equitypresent value of annuity calculator excelfob frieghtwhat is a sundry expenseinterest formula compounded continuouslyrequisition slip samplenpv excel calculatoroverhead absorption ratestimes interest earned calculation