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What is Income from Operations?

Defining Income From Operations (IFO)

Income from Operations (IFO), also known as operating income or earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), represents a company's earnings from its core business operations before considering interest, taxes, and transactions related to assets. This financial metric provides an indication of a company's operational profitability, highlighting the profit realized directly from a company's primary business activities.

Components of Income from Operations

IFO is calculated by deducting the cost of goods sold (COGS) and operating expenses from the revenue generated through operations. The cost of goods sold includes all costs directly linked to the production of the goods or services a company sells. Operating expenses comprise all the costs associated with running the business, such as salaries, rent, utilities, depreciation, and other administrative costs.

It's essential to note that IFO focuses solely on a company's primary operations, excluding non-operating income, such as gains from the sale of assets, interest income, and other extraordinary or nonrecurring gains.

Primary vs. Secondary Operations

In understanding IFO, it's crucial to distinguish between a company's primary and secondary operations. Primary operations refer to the sale of goods and services that form part of a company's core business activities. These are the company's main revenue-generating activities, upon which IFO calculation relies.

Secondary operations, on the other hand, include additional income sources that aren't part of the company's core business. Examples might include rental income from company-owned property or interest income from investments. These income sources are typically excluded when calculating IFO.

The Role of Income from Operations in Financial Analysis

IFO is a key metric in financial analysis because it provides a clear view of a company's operational efficiency and potential profitability. By isolating the profit generated from normal business operations, analysts and investors can gain a more accurate understanding of a company's financial health and its prospects for future profitability.

For instance, a manufacturing company's IFO would exclude any income generated from selling its property. This exclusion provides a clearer picture of the company's operational efficiency by focusing solely on income and expenses related to the day-to-day running of the business.

Income from Operations serves as an indispensable tool for assessing a company's operational profitability, excluding non-operating income and extraordinary gains. By focusing solely on primary operations, IFO gives investors, analysts, and company management a clear, undistorted view of the company's operational performance, ultimately aiding strategic decision-making and investment evaluations.

Thus, understanding the concept of IFO and how it's calculated provides invaluable insight into a company's financial health and operational efficiency, making it a key factor to consider when analyzing a company's financial statements.


Income from operations will be the net income which is solely focused on revenue from operations minus the cost of operations.

It excludes gains or losses from minority interest investments, or sale of assets. Income from Operations is also called Net Operating Income (NOI). In accounting terms it is arrived at by subtracting operating expense from gross profit, where gross profit is net sales minus cost of goods sold.

Operations might be primary or secondary. Primary operations includes the sale of goods and services that are part of a company’s core business. Secondary operations might be rental income from company-owned property and other additional income sources that are not part of the company’s core business.

Income from operations tends to only consider primary operations, and disregards non-operating income such as gains from the sale of assets (such as buildings), interest income, and so on. Often these non-operating gains are called extraordinary or nonrecurring gains.

Gains and losses resulting from investments that represent a minority stake in a company are not considered. Income from operations only pertains to a company’s primary business and that of its subsidiaries.

What is an Operating Profit?
What is Operating Cash Flow (OCF)?

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