# Degree of Operating Leverage

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## The key facts about operating leverage

Are you trying to calculate the degree of operating leverage (DOL)?

We understand that it can be a hassle sometimes. That’s why we created a degree of operating leverage calculator to help you out with the process!

Do you want to find out more about DOL? In today’s post, we’ll also explain everything you need to know about DOL and how to interpret the results. Let’s dive in.

## What Is the Degree of Operating Leverage?

A degree of operating leverage is a financial ratio that can help you measure the sensitivity of a company’s operating income.

To elaborate, it measures how much a company’s operating income will change in response to a change that’s particular to sales.

Typically, companies that have a large proportion of fixed cost to variable cost have higher levels of operating leverage.

## How Do You Calculate the Degree of Operating Leverage?

There are different methods to calculate a DOL. Let’s check some of them out.

### Formula 1

DOL = Change in Operating Income / Change in Sales

We can use the previous formula since the operating leverage ratio is related to the cost structure. As a result, we can calculate the DOL using the company’s contribution margin, which is the difference between total sales and variable sales.

### Formula 2

DOL = Change in EBIT / Change in Sales

Where:

• EBIT is the total earnings before income and taxes.

In some cases, you might need to calculate the percent change in the EBIT.

### Example

Let’s assume that the following financial information belongs to “X” Company in the first year:

Annual Sales: \$400,000

Operating Expenses: \$50,000

Here’s the financial information for the second year:

Annual Sales: \$500,000

Operating Expenses: \$80,000

First, we need to calculate the EBIT for both years.

In the first year, EBIT would be \$400,000 – \$50,000 = \$350,000

In the second year, EBIT would be \$500,000 – \$80,000 = \$420,000

Second, we need to calculate the % change in EBIT from the first year to the second year:

1 – (EBIT 2 / EBIT 1) = 20%

After that, we need to calculate the % change in sales from the first year to the second year:

1 – (Annual Sales 2 / Annual Sales 1) = 25%

Finally, we can calculate the DOL of the company:

Degree of Operating Leverage = Change in EBIT / Change in Sales = 20% / 25% = 0.8

If you’re still having problems calculating the DOL of your business, you can always use our degree of operating leverage calculator and other helpful tools on CalcoPolis.

## What Is a Good Operating Leverage Ratio?

The higher the DOL is, the more sensitive the company’s EBIT is to changes in sales. That’s in case other variables remain constant.

Typically, a high DOL means that the company has a larger portion of fixed costs in comparison with variable costs. In other words, any increase in sales might cause an increase in operating income.

A company with a high DOL can see huge changes in profits with a relatively smaller change in sales. However, that also means the company might have a higher operating risk.

On the other hand, a company with a low DOL has a huge portion of its overall cost structure as variable costs.

DOL can help any company to determine the suitable level of operating leverage. In turn, this can help the company maximize the benefit from its operating income.

More importantly, it can help any company assess its cost structure and its current business models. Therefore, the company can make changes to increase operating profits accordingly.

For example, a company with a high DOL doesn’t have to increase spending to expand its sales volume with more business.

Alternatively, a company with a low DOL typically spends more money on fixed assets to increase its sales.

## What Is the Difference Between Operating Leverage and Financial Leverage?

Operating leverage is basically an indication of the company’s cost structure. On the other hand, financial leverage is an indication of how much the company uses debt to finance its operations.

Both metrics are essential for any business. In fact, there’s a relation between the two metrics, as the operating earnings can be increased by financing.

## Conclusion

If you’re looking to calculate the degree of operating leverage quickly and without carrying out lots of manual calculations, simply use our degree of operating leverage calculator.

Be sure to check out some of our other tools on CalcoPolis!

### Authors

Created by Lucas Krysiak on 2023-02-21 17:28:44 | Last review by Mike Kozminsky on 2023-02-21 17:53:04 