Monday, April 22, 2024


Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and Return on Equity (ROE) are two key financial metrics that help investors and analysts assess a company’s financial performance and profitability. While both metrics offer valuable insights, they focus on different aspects of a company’s operations. In this blog, we will explore ROCE and ROE, explain the differences between them, and discuss which metric is better suited for various situations using examples.

Return on Equity (ROE) 

ROE, on the other hand, is a metric that focuses exclusively on equity financing. It measures how effectively a company generates profits from shareholders’ equity. The formula for ROE is: 

ROE = (Net Income / Shareholders’ Equity) x 100 

  • Net Income: The company’s total profits after all expenses, including interest & taxes.
  • Shareholders’ Equity: The total value of shareholders’ ownership in the company. 

ROE provides insights into how well a company is using shareholders’ investments to create value. A higher ROE suggests that the company is generating more profit for each dollar of equity. 

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) 

ROCE is a financial metric that evaluates a company’s ability to generate returns from the capital it has invested in its operations. ROCE takes into account both equity and debt, making it a more comprehensive measure of performance. The formula for calculating ROCE is: 

ROCE = (Operating Profit / Capital Employed) x 100 

  • Operating Profit: The company’s operating income or EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes).
  • Capital Employed: This is the sum of both equity and debt used in the business. 

Find: Power Of Reinvestment And Incremental ROCE

ROCE measures how efficiently a company utilizes its total capital to generate profits. A higher ROCE indicates better capital allocation and operational efficiency.

Comparing ROCE and ROE

To determine which metric is better, it’s essential to understand their differences and the situations in which each is more relevant. 

Scope of Analysis:

ROCE considers the total capital employed in the business, which includes both debt and equity. This makes it a more comprehensive measure that reflects the efficiency of both equity and debt utilization.

ROE focuses solely on shareholders’ equity, ignoring the company’s debt. It provides insights into the profitability of shareholders’ investments.

Read: How to Read Annual Report


ROCE is useful for assessing a company’s overall operational efficiency and capital allocation. It is particularly valuable for comparing companies with varying debt levels. 

ROE is beneficial for evaluating the returns to shareholders and is more suitable for companies with little or no debt. 

Risk Consideration: 

ROCE can be influenced by a company’s capital structure. Higher debt levels can lead to a lower ROCE and increased financial risk due to a higher level of debt. 

ROE is not affected by the presence of debt, making it a cleaner measure of a company’s profitability from an equity holder’s perspective. 

Let’s consider two hypothetical companies, Company A and Company B, to illustrate the differences between ROCE and ROE

Financials (Rs)   Company A    Company B  
Equity   3,000,000   3,000,000  
Debt   2,000,000   500,000  
Operating Profit   1,000,000   1,000,000  
Net Profit   500,000   800,000  


ROCE and ROE calculation: 


Company A  

Company B  

ROCE   1,000,000/ (3,000,000+2,000,000) *100 = 20%    1,000,000/ (3,000,000+500,000) *100 = 28.57%  
ROE   500,000/ (3,000,000) * 100 = 16.67% 800,000/ (3,000,000) *100 = 26.67%  


In the given scenario, we have two hypothetical companies, Company A and Company B, with varying financial structures. When comparing their financial performance using ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) and ROE (Return on Equity), we can see notable differences. Company A has a lower ROCE of 20%, indicating that it is less efficient at generating returns from both equity and debt investments. 

In contrast, Company B’s ROCE stands at 28.57%, suggesting that it is better at utilizing capital to generate profits. However, when we assess their ROE, which focuses solely on returns to shareholders, we observe that Company A has an ROE of 16.67%, while Company B’s ROE is higher at 26.67%. Company B demonstrates more effective use of equity financing to generate returns for its shareholders. This example highlights the importance of considering both ROCE and ROE, as they provide different perspectives on financial performance, especially when analyzing companies with varying capital structures and profitability levels.


In the debate of ROCE vs. ROE, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding which metric is better. The choice between the two depends on the specific circumstances and the goals of the analysis. 

Use ROCE to assess overall operational efficiency, capital allocation, and risk, especially when comparing companies with different capital structures. 

Use ROE when the focus is solely on equity holders’ returns and when analyzing companies with little or no debt. 

Ultimately, both metrics are valuable tools for evaluating a company’s financial performance. Investors and analysts should consider using a combination of ROCE and ROE to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a company’s financial health and performance in various contexts. 

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