SG&A Benchmarks

SG&A Expense as a Percentage of Sales by Industry Sector

Industry Sector

10% ile

Median

90% ile

Energy 2.49 9.37 29.11
Materials 4.45 10.15 25.52
Industrials 6.99 16.95 36.17
Consumer Discretionary 7.97 22.88 47.67
Consumer Staples 7.49 23.26 52.80
Health Care 12.83 38.50 67.34
Financials 6.60 38.85 53.32
Information Technology 14.14 37.61 74.02
Telecommunication Services 9.42 23.12 49.15
Utilities 3.81 17.10 46.45
Real Estate 3.54 8.80 26.03
All sectors combined 6.49 25.00 54.74

 

The series of PDF reports SG&A Benchmarks is the source for the above data. It serves as a convenient source of information for professional managers seeking benchmark information on the Selling, General & Administrative spending practices of major public corporations within a specific industry sector.

SG&A expenses are composed of all the commercial expenses of operation incurred in the regular course of business pertaining to the securing of operating income. Any portion of these expenses that the company itself allocates to cost of goods sold will not be included in SG&A. SG&A expense includes advertising expense, commissions, engineering expense, marketing expense, selling expense including salaries of the salesforce, employee benefit expenses, R&D expenses, software expense, administrative office expense and other expenses related to sales but not included in cost of goods sold. Frequently SG&A to Sales ratios are used to judge overhead or cost of sales.

Since different industries vary significantly in their practices of classification of expenses considered to be reported within SG&A expense, SG&A Benchmarks is produced for individual industry sectors. SG&A spending practices may also vary with size and country so information on annual sales and headquarters city is provided.

The industry sector summary displays median SG&A to Sales ratio by industry as well as 10 and 90 percentile values to illustrate the range of values reported by firms within the industry. The tables for each individual industry present SG&A as a percentage of sales and the annual percentage growth rate in SG&A spending as well as in sales for each company within the industry. Comparing the growth rate of SG&A expenses and sales gives a snapshot of where the profitability of the firm may be heading. The firms are presented in three groups as defined by sales of less than $100 million, sales between $100 million and $1 billion, and sales of more than $1 billion.

Two sets of industry tabulations are presented. Alphabetical order by company name aids in locating a firm. Order by SG&A to Sales ratio showcases the ‘leaner and meaner’ firms in each industry.

This report will benefit anyone seeking competitive benchmark intelligence including: corporate staff, financial analysts, investment professionals, lenders, M&A advisors, appraisers and industry consultants.

Click on the sector of interest below for more details, including a sample page, table of contents, and ordering information.

SG&A Benchmarks - Materials Sector provides SG&A spending information for 295 publicly traded companies in five industries within the materials sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 110 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Industrials Sector provides SG&A spending information for 620 publicly traded companies in fourteen industries within the industrials sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 110 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Consumer Discretionary Sector provides SG&A spending information for 727 publicly traded companies in twelve industries within the consumer discretionary sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 105 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Consumer Staples Sector provides SG&A spending information for 242 publicly traded companies in six industries within the consumer staples sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 59 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Health Care Sector provides SG&A spending information for 490 publicly traded companies in six industries within the health care sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 70 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Financials Sector provides SG&A spending information for 780 publicly traded companies in eight industries within the financials sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 80 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Information Technology Sector provides SG&A spending information for 860 publicly traded companies in seven industries within the information technology sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 180 are non-U.S. headquartered.

SG&A Benchmarks - Telecommunications Sector provides SG&A spending information for 70 publicly traded companies in two industries within the telecommunications sector with over $10 million in annual sales. Of these companies, 30 are non-U.S. headquartered.