The vertical bar graph shows the gross profit margin percentage for 11 business sectors.
The data used to create the graph was taken from Internal Revenue Service statistics on form 1120s-filed corporate returns for 2008. This data can be viewed on the IRS report “2008 Statistics of Income – Corporation Income Tax Returns” by clicking here (PDF file). Business receipts were used for sales. The gross profit margin percentages were computed by subtracting the cost of goods sold reported on the 1120s from the business receipts and dividing that result by the business receipts. Data was used only for corporations reporting a positive net income.
The percentages are for all size companies and all subsectors, so represent an approximate benchmark average that companies can use to compare their own gross profit margin percentages to somewhat similar companies. Subsectors exist for some of the sectors, so a more similar company comparison might be available.
The graph indicates that for many sectors salaries and wages are not accounted for as cost of sales and therefore gross profit margin percentages are much higher than for those sectors where inventory sales is significant.