# What Happens if the Contribution Margin Ratio Increases?

“Contribution” represents the portion of sales revenue that is not consumed by variable costs and so contributes to the coverage of fixed costs. The contribution margin shows total sales revenue less variable costs of a profit center. It indicates ability of a profit center to control its variable costs and make a profit. As you will learn in future chapters, in order for businesses to remain profitable, it is important for managers to understand how to measure and manage fixed and variable costs for decision-making. In this chapter, we begin examining the relationship among sales volume, fixed costs, variable costs, and profit in decision-making.

Any remaining revenue left after covering fixed costs is the profit generated. Contribution margin is the amount left-over after deducting from the revenue, the direct and indirect variable costs incurred in earning that revenue. This left-over value then contributes to paying the periodic fixed costs of the business with any remaining balance contributing profit to the owners.

You can use it to learn how to calculate contribution margin, provided you know the selling price per unit, the variable cost per unit, and the number of units you produce. The calculator will not only calculate the margin itself but will also return the contribution margin ratio.

We will discuss how to use the concepts of fixed and variable costs and their relationship to profit to determine the sales needed to break even or to reach a desired profit. You will also learn how to plan for changes in selling price or costs, whether a single product, multiple products, or services are involved.

## Online Contribution Margin Calculator

Using the above information the contribution margin per unit is $14 (the selling price of $20 minus the variable manufacturing costs of $4 and variable SG&A expenses of $2). Therefore, the contribution margin ratio is 70% (the contribution margin per unit of $14 divided by the selling price of $20). This contribution margin ratio tells us that 70% of the sales revenues (or 70% of the selling price) is available to cover the company’s $31,000 of monthly fixed costs and fixed expenses ($18,000 + $12,000 + $1,000).

Variable costs fluctuate with the level of units produced and include expenses such as raw materials, packaging, and the labor used to produce each unit. The result of this calculation shows the part of sales revenue that is not consumed by variable costs and is available to satisfy fixed costs, also known as the contribution margin.

The contribution margin ratio for the birdbath implies that, for every $1 generated by the sale of a Blue Jay Model, they have $0.80 that contributes to fixed costs and profit. Thus, 20% of each sales dollar represents the variable cost of the item and 80% of the sales dollar is margin. Just as each product or service has its own contribution margin on a per unit basis, each has a unique contribution margin ratio. If you need to estimate how much of your business’s revenues will be available to cover the fixed expenses after dealing with the variable costs, this calculator is the perfect tool for you.

However, it should be dropped if contribution margin is negative because the company would suffer from every unit it produces. At a contribution margin ratio of 80%, approximately $0.80 of each sales dollar generated by the sale of a Blue Jay Model is available to cover fixed expenses and contribute to profit.

For example, think of a situation in which a business manager determines that a particular product has a 25% contribution margin, which is below that of company’s other products. The manager can use this figure to determine whether variable costs for that product need to be reduced, or if the price of the end product needs to be increased. If either of these options is not attractive, the manager may decide to drop this unprofitable product in order to free resources to produce an alternate product with a higher contribution margin. This demonstrates that, for every Cardinal model they sell, they will have $60 to contribute toward covering fixed costs and, if there is any left, toward profit. Every product that a company manufactures or every service a company provides will have a unique contribution margin per unit.

## Contribution Margin Calculator

Also known as dollar contribution per unit, the measure indicates how a particular product contributes to the overall profit of the company. It provides one way to show the profit potential of a particular product offered by a company and shows the portion of sales that helps to cover the company’s fixed costs.

- The contribution margin ratio is a formula that calculates the percentage of contribution margin (fixed expenses, or sales minus variable expenses) relative to net sales, put into percentage terms.

The contribution margin ratio is a formula that calculates the percentage of contribution margin (fixed expenses, or sales minus variable expenses) relative to net sales, put into percentage terms. The answer to this equation shows the total percentage of sales income remaining to cover fixed expenses and profit after covering all variable costs of producing a product. Calculating the contribution margin is an excellent tool for managers to help determine whether to keep or drop certain aspects of the business. For example, a production line with positive contribution margin should be kept even if it causes negative total profit, when the contribution margin offsets part of the fixed cost.

The percentage of each sales dollar that is available for covering fixed expenses and generating a profit. Each 1.00 of sales revenue contributes .4 toward fixed expenses and profit while the remaining .6 of each sales dollar is used to pay for variable costs.

In these examples, the contribution margin per unit was calculated in dollars per unit, but another way to calculate contribution margin is as a ratio (percentage). Expressed another way, the contribution margin ratio is the percentage of revenues that is available to cover a company’s fixed costs, fixed expenses, and profit.

If a company finds that its contribution margin is too low and it wants to generate higher profits, it needs to increase its contribution margin ratio. The main ways a company can work toward achieving this goal is to increase the final sales price of its products, increase sales and decrease its variable cost or a combination of all three. If a company makes these adjustments and finds that its contribution margin is still too low, it may consider attempting to decrease its fixed costs by closing a store or a manufacturing plant, for example. The contribution margin ratio is the difference between a company’s sales and variable costs, expressed as a percentage. It is good to have a high contribution margin ratio, as the higher the ratio, the more money per product sold is available to cover all the other expenses.

## Relevance and Uses of Contribution Margin Formula

However, the analysis might also show that the product is not earning enough to also cover its share of variable costs, such as direct labor and utilities, and generate a profit as well. The contribution margin ratio takes the analysis a step further to show the percentage of each unit sale that contributes to covering the company’s variable costs and profit.

Contribution margins differ from profit margins in that contribution margins only take into account the variable costs of developing your product, excluding the fixed costs a business pays to stay in operation. Contribution margin (CM), or dollar contribution per unit, is the selling price per unit minus the variable cost per unit.

This left-over value then contributes to paying the periodic fixed costs of the business with any remaining balance contributing profit to the firm. The contribution margin (CM) ratio is equal to total sales revenue minus variable costs to the business, divided by total sales revenue. Expressed as a percent, it is the portion of total sales revenue that became profit after deducting the cost to develop each individual product sold.

Hence, we can calculate contribution margins by deducting the total variable cost from the total sales. Contribution margin concept establishes a relationship between cost, sales, and profit. For the calculation of Contribution margin, the firm refers to its net sales and total variable expenses. It refers to the amount left over after deducting from the revenue or sales, the direct and indirect variable costs incurred in earning that revenue or sales.

Once the $31,000 has been covered, 70% of the revenues will flow to the company’s net income. It appears that Beta would do well by emphasizing Line C in its product mix. Moreover, the statement indicates that perhaps prices for line A and line B products are too low. This is information that can’t be gleaned from the regular income statements that an accountant routinely draws up each period. The contribution margin is computed as the selling price per unit, minus the variable cost per unit.