Grafic for the current figure

Corporations earned an average of 4.2 cent on each euro of sales in 2018

In 2018, German enterprises operating outside the financial sector earned an average of 4.2 cent on each euro of earned through sales, constituting a pre-tax return on sales of 4.2 per cent, down from 4.8 per cent one year earlier.

Over the course of the year in question, sales continued to expand at an above-average rate despite subdued exports and somewhat less dynamic consumption compared with 2017. On the cost side, however, enterprises were confronted with additional pension provisions, higher purchase prices for intermediate goods and raw materials and robust wage growth. This cocktail of factors resulted in a marked decline in their average return on sales.

For more information on the profitability and financial situation of German non-financial corporations, as well as their asset holdings, consult the December 2019 edition of the Bundesbank Monthly Report. A comprehensive set of relevant figures, incorporating the extrapolated results from financial statements of German enterprises, are readily available.