Variable Cost Ratio

Definition of 'Variable Cost Ratio'


Variable costs expressed as a percentage of sales. The variable cost ratio compares costs, which fluctuate depending on production levels, to the revenues made on those products. This ratio relates the specific costs to the revenues they generate.

May also be defined as "1 - contribution margin ratio".

Investopedia explains 'Variable Cost Ratio'


The variable cost ratio is useful in setting pricing policy so as to arrive at the optimum price for a product. The calculation can be done on a per-unit produced basis, or by totals over a time period as long as the numerator and denominator are used.

For example, if variable costs per unit of a product are $55 and the product sells for $100, the variable cost ratio is 55%. The difference between the selling price and variable costs is known as contribution margin (CM); this amount is the contribution toward meeting fixed costs. The variable cost ratio can also be computed as (1 - CM ratio).



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  2. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  3. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center