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Turnover Ratio


Turnover ratio is a financial metric that measures the frequency or speed at which an asset is sold or replaced in a given period, commonly used in reference to a company’s inventory or investment portfolio. For inventory, it assesses how quickly a business can sell products, while for portfolios, it measures how actively investments are traded. A high turnover ratio can indicate an efficient business or high trading activity, but might also suggest excessive trading fees or low inventory levels.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Turnover Ratio” is: “tur-noh-ver rey-shee-oh”

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Turnover Ratio refers to a measurement used by investors to understand how frequently a fund or portfolio’s assets are being bought or sold within a specified period- usually a year. A high ratio indicates a higher degree of trading activity and could mean more transaction costs.</li><li>It is essential not only for measuring fund performance, but it is also a crucial factor in determining the impact costs. When turnover ratios are elevated, it’s often an indication of an aggressive management style that can lead to higher fees and capital gain taxes.</li><li>A lower turnover ratio could be favourable as it might point towards a strategy based on long-term investing. However, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, a low turnover might lead to underperformance if it results from a lack of active management.</li></ol>


The turnover ratio is a critical term in business and finance because it offers insights into a company’s operational efficiency and how effectively it utilizes its assets. High turnover ratios typically indicate that a company is using its assets efficiently to generate sales, pointing to excellent management performance. Conversely, low turnover ratios can imply that the firm is not effectively utilizing its assets, often indicating poor management or a sluggish market. For investors, this metric is significant as it helps them gauge a company’s financial health for informed decision-making. Additionally, understanding this ratio can help a company’s management identify opportunities for improvement or address troublesome areas.


The purpose of the turnover ratio in business and finance is to measure how effectively a company utilizes its assets and manages its liabilities. In the context of assets, this ratio indicates the number of times a company has replaced or “turned over” its assets in a period. A high turnover ratio signifies that the company is using its assets efficiently to generate sales. Conversely, a low turnover ratio might signal that the company is not efficiently using its assets and there may be a problem with the inventory or asset management. In the context of liabilities, this ratio helps to reveal the company’s credit management and how effectively it is able to pay off its obligations. A high turnover ratio can be indicative of strong liquidity, meaning the business is capable of quickly meeting its short-term debts. The turnover ratio is also important for investors and creditors because it provides insights into a company’s operational efficiency and financial health. Therefore, companies strive to maintain an optimum turnover ratio that aligns with their operational and finance management strategies.


1. Asset Management Companies: In the asset management industry, the turnover ratio is an essential metric in assessing the performance of portfolio managers. For instance, an asset management company managing various mutual funds will look at the turnover ratio to determine how frequently the assets within the mutual fund are being bought and sold. A high turnover ratio may indicate that the fund is engaging in excessive trading, which could result in higher transaction costs and taxes for the investors.2. Retail Business: Suppose a clothing retailer like Gap Inc. has an annual inventory turnover ratio of 6. This means that Gap Inc. sells and replaces its inventory 6 times each year. If the turnover ratio is relatively low, it indicates that the clothing retailer either has low sales or carries too much inventory, which can both have negative implications for the company’s financial health.3. Supermarket Chains: Supermarkets like Walmart have a high turnover ratio, often selling and replenishing their inventory more than 12 times a year. This is due to the nature of the products they sell, such as perishable goods that have a short shelf life. A high turnover ratio can be beneficial for businesses in this sector as it indicates good inventory management, high consumer demand for its products, and efficient use of assets, all of which contribute towards increased profitability.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Turnover Ratio in finance and business?

The Turnover Ratio, also known as the Asset Turnover Ratio or Inventory Turnover Ratio, is a metric that measures the efficiency of a company’s use of its assets to generate sales or revenue. It represents the number of times a company sells or replaces its asset base within a certain period.

How do you calculate the Turnover Ratio?

The Turnover Ratio can be calculated by taking the company’s net sales and dividing it by its average total assets during the same period. The formula is: Turnover Ratio = Net Sales / Average Total Assets.

What does a high Turnover Ratio indicate?

A high Turnover Ratio generally indicates that a company efficiently uses its assets to generate sales. It may be indicative of a company’s strong demand for its products or effective asset management.

How does a low Turnover Ratio affect a company?

A low Turnover Ratio is generally considered an indicator of inefficiency as it means the company is not utilizing its assets effectively to generate sales. It may mean the company has overly invested in assets, or it is struggling to sell its goods.

Is a higher or lower Turnover Ratio better?

Normally, a higher Turnover Ratio is considered better because it indicates that a company uses its assets efficiently to generate sales. However, this may vary significantly based on the nature of the company’s industry and business model.

Can the Turnover Ratio be used to compare different businesses?

Yes, the Turnover Ratio can be an effective comparison tool between businesses in the same industry. However, you should take caution when comparing different industries as turnover rates can vary significantly.

Where can I find the data to calculate the Turnover Ratio?

The information needed to calculate the Turnover Ratio such as net sales and total assets can usually be found on a company’s income statement and balance sheet which are often available on the company’s official website or financial news platforms.

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