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A Complete Guide to Understanding Profit and Loss
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18 Dec A Complete Guide to Understanding Profit and Loss

“Profit and loss” may sound like the kind of terms you hear from business tycoons or financial wizards in their ivory towers. But here’s the secret – these concepts are not reserved for the elite; they’re essential for everyone, including students like you. Whether you’re aspiring to launch a start-up, conquer the stock market, or ace your math exam, welcome to the intriguing realm of profit and loss.

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Basic Concepts of Profit and Loss

Understanding the fundamental concepts of profit and loss is paramount in financial literacy. In essence, profit represents the financial gain achieved when the selling price (SP) surpasses the cost price (CP). Conversely, a loss occurs when the cost price exceeds the selling price. Here are the key points for each:


  • Profit is the surplus earned from selling a product or service.
  • It signifies financial success and revenue generation.
  • Profit occurs when SP > CP.


  • Loss indicates financial setback or deficit.
  • It happens when CP > SP, resulting in negative financial outcomes.
  • Understanding both profit and loss is essential for financial decision-making.

Terms Used in Profit and Loss

To gain a deeper understanding of profit and loss, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with the following terminology:

Selling Price (SP): The selling price represents the amount for which you sell a product or service to your customers, signifying your revenue from a sale.

Cost Price (CP): Cost price denotes the expense incurred to procure or manufacture a product, encompassing all the costs associated with its acquisition.

Marked Price: The marked price is the initial listing price of a product, typically set higher than the selling price and subject to potential discounts.

Discounts: Discounts are concessions applied to the marked price to entice customers. These reductions can be expressed as percentages or fixed amounts, effectively reducing the selling price.

Formula and Example of Profit and Loss:

To calculate profit and loss, you can use the following formulas:

Formula for Profit:

  • Profit = Selling Price (SP) – Cost Price (CP)
  • When the Selling Price (SP) is greater than the Cost Price (CP), you have a profit.

Example of Profit:

If you buy a toy for $10 and sell it for $15, your profit is?

ð   Your Profit = SP – CP =$15 – $10 = $5

Formula for Loss:

  • Loss = Cost Price (CP) – Selling Price (SP)
  •  When the Cost Price (CP) is greater than the Selling Price (SP), you have a loss.

Example of Loss:

If you purchase a gadget for $50 and can only sell it for $40, your profit is?

ð  Your Loss = CP – SP =$50 – $40 = $10

Percentage of Profit and Loss

Understanding the percentage of profit and loss is crucial for analyzing financial transactions and business performance. It helps express profit or loss as a percentage of the cost price, aiding decision-making.

The formula to calculate the percentage of profit or loss is straightforward:

Percentage of Profit:

% of Profit = (Profit(P) / Cost Price(CP)) × 100


Suppose you buy a Smartphone for $300 and sell it for $400. To calculate the percentage of profit:

ð  Profit = SP – CP = $400 – $300 = $100

ð  Percentage of Profit = (Profit / Cost Price) × 100 = ($100 / $300) × 100 = 33.33%

In this example, you made a profit of $100, which is 33.33% of the cost price.

Percentage of Loss:

% of Loss = (Loss / Cost Price) × 100


Now, consider a scenario where you purchase a piece of artwork for $1,500 and sell it for $1,200. To calculate the percentage of loss:

ð  Loss = Cost Price (CP) – Selling Price (SP) = $1,500 – $1,200 = $300

ð  Percentage of Loss = (Loss / Cost Price) × 100 = ($300 / $1,500) × 100 = 20%

In this case, you incurred a loss of $300, which represents 20% of the cost price.

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In summary, mastering profit and loss is essential for your academic and financial journey. With clear explanations, real-world applications, and experienced instructors, Our Maths Tuition in Singapore is the perfect place to hone your skills in this subject. Enroll today and excel in profit and loss calculations.