Financial Performance Data

Under this topic you will find information on average revenues, expenses and profits for small and medium-sized businesses in the Canadian Economy (NAICS 11-91). The data used for this topic were obtained through Financial Performance Data. You can use this information to see how your business measures up to the competition.




Revenues and expenses

Total revenues include revenues from the sale of goods and services, interest, dividends, commissions, rent and other sources of revenues. They exclude capital gains or losses, extraordinary gains or losses and equity in net income of related parties.

Expenses can be divided into two main types: cost of sales (or direct expenses) and operating expenses (or indirect expenses).

The average total annual revenues for small and medium-sized businesses in the Canadian economy were $366.6 thousand in 2011.

For profitable firms, average revenues were $359.4 thousand and for non-profitable firms, average revenues were $399.2 thousand.

Average total expenses for small and medium-sized businesses in the Canadian economy were $321.6 thousand. For profitable firms, average total expenses were $290.0 thousand and for non-profitable firms, average total expenses were $463.4 thousand.


Profitable vs. Non-profitable businesses: 2011
Canadian Economy (NAICS 11-91)
Industry Average
Profitable
Non-profitable
Total
Percent of businesses
81.8%
18.2%
100.0%
Total Revenues ($ thousands)
359.4
399.2
366.6
Total Expenses ($ thousands)
290.0
463.4
321.6
Net Profit/Loss ($ thousands)
69.3
-64.2
45.0

Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulation, unpublished data, Small Business Profiles, 2011

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Operating expenses refer to all expenses not directly related to the principal activity of the business. Examples of these indirect expenses include labour charges for support staff, rent expenses, and charges for advertising and promotion activities.

The average value of operating expense items for the Canadian economy are outlined in the table below.

Operating Expenses: 2011
(NAICS 11-91)
Expense Item
Value in $ thousands
% of Total Revenues
Labour and commissions
66.1
18.0
Amortization and depletion
13.1
3.6
Repairs and maintenance
8.4
2.3
Utilities and telephone/telecommunication
8.9
2.4
Rent
13.0
3.5
Interest and bank charges
7.2
2.0
Professional and business fees
10.8
2.9
Advertising and promotion
4.3
1.2
Delivery, shipping and warehouse expenses
1.0
0.3
Insurance
4.0
1.1
Other expenses
53.3
14.5
Operating Expenses (indirect expenses)
190.1
51.8

Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulation, unpublished data, Small Business Profiles.

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Cost of sales

Cost of sales refers to costs related to the principal activity of the business. Examples of these direct expenses include the materials used to manufacture a product or deliver a service and the labour costs associated with the production of the product or delivery of a service.

The average value of cost of sales items for the Canadian economy are outlined in the table below. The cost of sales itself is calculated by adding wages and benefits, purchases, materials and sub-contracts, and opening inventory and then subtracting closing inventory.

Cost of Sales: 2011
(NAICS 11-91)
Expense Item
Value in $ thousands
% of Total Revenues
Wages and benefits
19.6
5.4
Purchases, materials and sub-contracts
115.9
31.6
Opening inventory
34.6
9.4
Closing inventory
38.5
10.5
Cost of sales (direct expenses)
131.5
35.9

Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulation, unpublished data, Small Business Profiles.

Net profit/loss

Net profit/loss is the profit or loss resulting from normal business operations, recorded before income taxes, extraordinary items and other income not related to normal operations. For unincorporated firms, the owners' or partners' salaries and withdrawals are included.

The percentage of small and medium-sized businesses that were profitable in the Canadian economy in 2011 was 81.8%, with 18.2% of firms failing to turn a profit.

The average annual net profit/loss for small and medium-sized businesses in the Canadian economy was $45.0 thousand in 2011, which represented 12.3% of total revenues for small and medium-sized businesses in the economy.

For profitable firms, the average annual net profit was $69.3 thousand and for non-profitable firms, average net loss was $64.2 thousand.

The gross margin for the Canadian economy was 64.1% in 2011.

Gross margin is calculated as (total revenue - cost of sales) / (total revenue) * 100. This percentage provides a relative measure of profitability or profit margin.

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Notes on Financial Performance Data

The data in this section come from Statistics Canada’s Small Business Profiles which are produced using a sample of tax returns filed by incorporated and unincorporated businesses with the Canada Revenue Agency. The data appearing in this section are based on tax data from 2011. The data were obtained through Industry Canada's Financial Performance Data.

In this section, small and medium-sized businesses are defined as those having annual revenues between $30,000 and $5,000,000.

The Financial Performance Data provides more in-depth data for small and medium-sized businesses than what is offered here. Included among its features are options to:

  • view statistics by province,
  • view statistics by business type (incorporated, unincorporated or all businesses),
  • segment the industry based upon revenue levels (which allows you to compare the performance of your business to averages for firms of a comparable revenue level),
  • view balance sheet data, and
  • view up to 12 financial ratios.