Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Marginal Profit


Marginal profit refers to the change in total profit resulting from producing one additional unit of a product or service. It is calculated by evaluating the difference in total revenue and total cost when the quantity produced is increased by one unit. In short, marginal profit shows the incremental profit gained from producing and selling an extra item.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Marginal Profit” is:/ˈmɑːrʤɪnəl ˈprɒfɪt/The punctuation in this transcription comes from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Key Takeaways

  1. Marginal profit is the additional profit generated from selling one more unit of a good or service. It measures the change in a company’s total profit resulting from producing one additional unit and can be a crucial metric for decision making in businesses. This helps companies determine the most profitable level of production or sales and assists in making pricing decisions.
  2. Marginal profit is related to the concept of marginal cost and marginal revenue. It is the difference between marginal revenue (the additional revenue from selling one more unit) and marginal cost (the additional cost of producing one more unit). When marginal revenue is greater than marginal cost, marginal profit is positive and the company should continue producing more units. If marginal revenue is equal to marginal cost, the company has reached the profit-maximizing level of production. However, if marginal revenue is less than marginal cost, it is more prudent for the company to decrease production.
  3. Marginal profit is critical in determining optimal production levels and pricing strategies. By understanding and analyzing marginal profit, companies can optimize their resources and adjust their production levels to maximize profitability. This analysis helps businesses avoid overproducing or underproducing goods and services and can guide them in determining the ideal price point for their offerings.


Marginal profit is a crucial concept in business and finance as it provides a clear understanding of the additional profit gained when an entity produces and sells one more unit of its product or service. This measurement is essential for effective decision-making, as it aids businesses in determining optimal production and sales levels, identifying opportunities to enhance profitability. Moreover, it helps in evaluating the efficiency of resource allocation during expansion or development phases. By analyzing marginal profit, businesses can maximize their overall financial performance and ensure long-term success and growth.


Marginal profit is a critical concept in finance and business, as it is used for making well-informed decisions regarding production and resource allocation. The calculation of marginal profit allows businesses to better understand the impact of production rate changes on their overall profitability. This valuable financial metric aids managers in determining the optimum production levels to maximize revenues while minimizing costs. As production levels impact both fixed and variable costs, this knowledge is pivotal to maintain a sustainable and profitable business. The utility of marginal profit is evident in various strategic business situations such as pricing decisions, product launches, and sales strategy formulation. For instance, a company can use marginal profit analysis to identify the profit contribution of an individual product. This insight aids them to compare alternative product pricing strategies or select where marketing efforts should be concentrated to boost sales. Moreover, these assessments enable managers to identify areas for process improvements and cost reduction initiatives, thereby ensuring the effective utilization of resources. In essence, marginal profit serves as a crucial indicator of the overall financial health of a company and plays an indispensable role in driving competitiveness and profitability.


1. Smartphone Manufacturing: A smartphone company produces and sells smartphones. When they manufacture 5000 units, their total profit is $100,000. However, when they increase production to 5100 units, their total profit increases to $102,000. In this case, the marginal profit is calculated as the change in total profit, which is $2000, divided by the change in quantity, which is 100. The marginal profit per additional smartphone is $20. 2. Retail Clothing Store: A clothing store is evaluating whether to expand its product line by stocking an additional clothing item. The store currently sells 1000 items and has a total profit of $50,000. The store owner estimates that by adding the new clothing item, they can sell an additional 100 items and increase their total profit to $52,500. In this case, the marginal profit is the change in total profit, which is $2500, divided by the change in quantity, which is 100. The marginal profit per additional item is $25. 3. Food Truck Business: A food truck owner operates in a busy urban area and typically sells 300 meals per day, generating a total profit of $1,800 per day. The owner is considering extending their operating hours to sell an extra 50 meals per day, expecting an increase in total profit to $2,100 per day. In this case, the marginal profit is calculated as the change in total profit, which is $300, divided by the change in quantity, which is 50. The marginal profit per additional meal is $6.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is marginal profit?
Marginal profit is the increase in total profit that results from selling one additional unit of a product or service. In other words, it refers to the additional profit generated by producing and selling one more unit.
How is marginal profit calculated?
Marginal profit can be calculated by finding the difference between the additional revenue generated by selling one more unit (Marginal Revenue) and the additional cost incurred in producing that one unit (Marginal Cost). The formula for marginal profit is: Marginal Profit = Marginal Revenue – Marginal Cost.
Why is marginal profit important?
Marginal profit is important in making decisions about production levels, pricing strategy, and resource allocation. It helps businesses determine the optimal level of production that maximizes profit, as well as identify which products or services are most profitable and, therefore, should be prioritized.
How does marginal profit relate to marginal revenue and marginal cost?
Marginal profit is the difference between marginal revenue and marginal cost. Marginal revenues refer to the additional income generated from selling an extra unit, while marginal cost refers to the additional expense incurred to produce that extra unit. To make the most profit, a business should seek to maximize the gap between marginal revenue and marginal cost, thus increasing its marginal profit.
Can marginal profit be negative?
Yes, marginal profit can be negative if the marginal cost of producing an additional unit is greater than the marginal revenue earned from selling it. In this situation, a business might consider reducing production or finding ways to lower marginal costs to maximize overall profit.
How can a business use marginal profit analysis to make better decisions?
By analyzing marginal profit, a business can make informed decisions about production, pricing, and resource allocation. Some examples include:1. Adjusting production levels: A company can increase production when marginal profit is high and decrease production when marginal profit declines or becomes negative.2. Price setting: Evaluating marginal profit can assist businesses in determining optimal pricing to maximize profits.3. Resource allocation: A company can use marginal profit analysis to allocate resources and prioritize the production of more profitable products or services.
What is the difference between marginal profit and total profit?
Marginal profit refers to the additional profit earned by selling one more unit of a product or service, while total profit is the difference between total revenue and total cost for all units produced and sold. Total profit indicates the overall profitability of a business, while marginal profit is used to understand the incremental benefit of increasing production.

Related Finance Terms

  • Contribution Margin
  • Variable Costs
  • Break-Even Point
  • Profit Maximization
  • Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More