How can I calculate break-even analysis in Excel?

The break-even point occurs when all fixed costs have been paid on the sale of the last unit. After that, the difference between the variable costs and the selling price is profit. A company is selling below the break-even number of units and is therefore operating at a loss. To earn a profit and cover its fixed social security fica and variable costs, a company must consider increasing the number of TVs it sells yearly. Simply enter your fixed and variable costs, the selling price per unit and the number of units expected to be sold. In contrast to fixed costs, variable costs increase (or decrease) based on the number of units sold.

  1. Firstly, it assumes that all products are sold at the same price, which may not always be the case in reality.
  2. He served clients, including presenting directly to C-level executives, in digital, strategy, M&A, and operations projects.
  3. For small businesses hitting the break-even point is the first step toward success and making the business profitable.
  4. However, the variable cost of product components is directly proportional to the number of units produced.

Fixed costs are costs that remain the same regardless of how many units are sold. With break-even analysis, company owners can compare different pricing strategies and calculate how many units sold will lead to profitability. If they cut the price substantially, they’ll need a large jump in demand for their product to pay for their fixed costs, which are needed to keep the business operating. It is also helpful to note that the sales price per unit minus variable cost per unit is the contribution margin per unit. For example, if a book’s selling price is $100 and its variable costs are $5 to make the book, $95 is the contribution margin per unit and contributes to offsetting the fixed costs. If they cut the price by too much and the sales forecasts for an increase in demand are inaccurate, they may cover their variable costs but not cover their fixed costs.

We’ll also explore some case studies and scenarios that use this invaluable tool to make better financial decisions within businesses. No matter where you’re starting your journey toward becoming more financially informed, there is something here for everyone. The formula for figuring that out is really easy once you have the break-even point in units. Now these are all the elements necessary to calculate the break-even point in units. It shows how the expenses and revenue lines intersect at the point where the company is breaking even, and everything below that point is a loss, while everything above it is profit.

What Is a Break-Even Analysis?

In accounting terms, it refers to the production level at which total production revenue equals total production costs. In investing, the breakeven point is the point at which the original cost equals the market price. Meanwhile, the breakeven point in options trading occurs when the market price of an underlying asset reaches the level at which a buyer will not incur a loss. The total variable costs will therefore be equal to the variable cost per unit of $10.00 multiplied by the number of units sold.

When there is an increase in customer sales, it means that there is higher demand. A company then needs to produce more of its products to meet this new demand which, in turn, raises the break-even point in order to cover the extra expenses. The break-even point is an important financial metric, which helps to analyze business and its viability.

Businesses share the similar core objective of eventually becoming profitable in order to continue operating. Otherwise, the business will need to wind-down since the current business model is not sustainable. There is no net loss or gain at the break-even point (BEP), but the company is now operating at a profit from that point onward.

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The metric that includes taxes is called Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT). However, the widely understood definition uses revenue, so that is what we’re using in this article. Variable costs, in particular, can vary significantly and impact the accuracy of the analysis. It is crucial for businesses to consider these factors when utilizing break-even analysis for pricing decisions.

What are the limitations of the breakeven point?

If a company is selling less than its break-even point and is losing money, there are several things it can do. Another option is to increase sales, which could involve a new marketing campaign (although that requires an initial expense), or offering promotions. That’s the difference between the number of units required to meet a profit goal and the required units that must be sold to cover the expenses. In our example, Barbara had to produce and sell 2,500 units to cover the factory expenditures and had to produce 3,500 units in order to meet her profit objectives. It’s the amount of sales the company can afford to lose but still cover its expenditures.

However, the variable cost of product components is directly proportional to the number of units produced. This means that in each period before the company starts to generate a profit, it must cover all of its fixed costs. For options trading, the breakeven point is the market price that an underlying asset must reach for an option buyer to avoid a loss if they exercise the option. The breakeven point doesn’t typically factor in commission costs, although these fees could be included if desired. Take the fixed costs and divide by the difference between the selling price and cost per unit ($16.58), and that will tell you how many units have to be sold to break even. At 175 units ($17,500 in sales), Hicks does not generate enough sales revenue to cover their fixed expenses and they suffer a loss of $4,000.

The break-even point is the amount of products a company needs to sell in order to break even, i.e., pay for all their expenses without keeping any extra money. Break-even point analysis is a way for a company to know how many products it needs to sell in order to break even. When a company breaks even, it has exactly the right amount of money to pay for all its expenses, and nothing more. Stock and option traders need break-even analysis to facilitate several functions. Firstly, they use break-even analysis to help them figure out at which point their stock and option positions become profitable. Also, break-even analysis help stock and option traders manage their risks.

A break-even analysis can help you make decisions based on facts instead of feelings. It tells you when the amount of money coming in will equal the amount going out. A break-even analysis is a calculation that looks at how much money you put in and how much money you get out. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of the break-even point formula, analysis, and understanding the formula for calculating it.


If customer demand and sales are higher for the company in a certain period, its variable costs will also move in the same direction and increase (and vice versa). To demonstrate the combination of both a profit and the after-tax effects and subsequent calculations, let’s return to the Hicks Manufacturing example. Let’s assume that we want to calculate the target volume in units and revenue that Hicks must sell to generate an after-tax return of $24,000, assuming the same fixed costs of $18,000. However, using the contribution margin per unit is not the only way to determine a break-even point.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. However, calculating it manually might be a cumbersome task, especially when you have too much on your plate already.

For example, rent of production space, insurance, and loan payments are fixed costs. It must be paid whether the company does not produce a single product or produces a million products in it. Yes, you would want to use the average cost per unit along with the average selling price to get the contribution margin per unit in the formula. This calculation demonstrates that Hicks would need to sell 725 units at $100 a unit to generate $72,500 in sales to earn $24,000 in after-tax profits.