Let’s assume that the initial investment for expanding a company that sells washing machines is $ 500,000. After five years of the project, cash flows have been discounted at a rate of 10%, and the total present value is $ 800,000. PI assumes that intermediate cash flows are reinvested at the project’s cost of capital, which might not always be realistic. This computation yields a ratio that becomes a beneficial tool in the decision-making process. A PI exceeding 1 signifies that the present value of future cash inflows overruns the initial investment, suggesting that the project may be a lucrative venture. Firms use the Profitability Index to determine the relationship between costs and benefits for a proposed project.

They utilize this measure to rank projects based on the value created per investment unit. It means that for every $1 invested initially, the project is expected to generate $2 in value. So in this example, the investment is expected to produce twice as much value as the amount of money invested to get it started. A profitability index greater than 1 indicates the project is likely to be quite profitable, making it an attractive investment opportunity.

- In that case, both metrics provide useful perspectives to make an informed decision.
- In capital-constrained situations, organizations must invest in projects that promise the highest returns per unit of investment.
- Moreover, PI might not be the best tool for mutually exclusive projects with different sizes and timing of cash flows.
- The assessment of industrial investment projects in well-developed countries is based on traditional and new, more rational methods that can be characterized as reliable and proven methods.

Additionally, the PI assumes that the cost of capital remains stable over the project’s life, which might not hold in an environment with fluctuating interest rates. PI is an essential tool in capital budgeting used to assess prospective investments or initiatives. For example, Garch Ltd could invest in Catcher even though the initial investment required is $600,000 while the company only has $550,000 available to invest. This is the present value of the future cash flow that you’re earning, for every pound you’ve invested. Suppose further that the company has only $40,000 available to invest and all the projects are independent, not mutually exclusive. Because of cash constraint, It can’t undertake both project 1 and another from project 2 and 3.

We can then single out a unique term, more precisely an economic indicator called the profitability index. This indicator has proven to be excellent in assessing the economic effects of projects or companies in all aspects of the business. The focus is on measuring the cost-effectiveness assessment and quantifying the effectiveness of a particular investment. You can find out more about the calculation method and examples of using the profitability index below. Regardless of the type of business you operate or your industry, generating a profit is critical to growing and expanding.

Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. Therefore, while the PI offers valuable insights for investment decision-making, it should not be the only deciding factor. Another key feature of the PI is its capacity to help businesses understand how changes in essential parameters can affect a project’s profitability. The PI’s main advantage lies in its ability to help businesses prioritize projects, especially when resources are scarce.

## Understanding the Profitability Index (PI)

A PI more significant than 1 (like in this example) suggests the project is a good investment. Furthermore, you learned that there are 2 ways to calculate the PI, including one where we take the ratio of NPV to I, and another, where we take it as the ratio freshbooks for nonprofits of PV to I. And depending on the risk-free rate (typically the yield on U.S. Government Bonds), Garch Ltd should either deposit the remaining $50,000 and earn the risk-free rate. Similarly, for every dollar we invest in Archer, we expect to earn 5 cents.

## What is a Good Profitability Index (PI)?

The profitability index can also get referred to as a profit investment ratio (PIR) or a value investment ratio (VIR). It represents the relationship that exists between the costs and the benefits of a potential project. The profitability index is the ratio between the initial amount invested in a project and the present value of future cash flows. When it comes to the numerator, it involves calculating the time value of money, where cash flows are discounted in a certain number of periods.

## Disadvantages of the Profitability Index

And when it comes to projects or possible investments, understanding the benefits you can receive is important. The higher a profitability index means a project has benefits and would be considered more attractive. It can be very helpful in ranking potential projects in order to let investors quantify their value. It offers a comparative analysis of a project’s profitability by relating the present value of future cash inflows to the original investment expense, thereby aiding in resource optimization.

The profitability index, in fact, is another way of representing the net present value model. The only difference between two is that the NPV shows an absolute value whereas the PI measures the relative value in ratio format. Based on the obtained data, we can conclude that the realization of this project can continue according to the rule of the profitability index. A telecommunications engineer and MBA who has a strong passion for creative writing. He is a long-term consultant in the field of management and leadership, as well as a lecturer for the topics like company management, writing a business plan, human resource management and the like. There are two different calculations that you can use to determine the profitability index.

The numerator is the present value of cash flow that occurs after the initial funds have been invested into the project. The denominator consists of the total funds the firm initially needs to undertake the opportunity. Anything lower than 1 indicates that the project’s present value is far less than the initial investment. So, the higher the profitability index, the more benefit and value you will get from it. It works as a way for you to appraise a project to make a more informed decision.

## Related calculators

Based on the profitability index rule, the project would proceed, even though the initial capital expenditure required are not identified. The profitability index is similar to calculating the net present value (NPV), with some differences. The main difference between these two methods is that PI is presented as a ratio so that it will not directly https://www.wave-accounting.net/ indicate the size of the cash flow. First, it is necessary to identify all cash inflows and outflows, determine the discount rate, find the present value of these cash inflows and outflows, and add up all the obtained current values. From this process, we see that the NPV shows us the project’s cost-effectiveness compared to other projects.

If I now told you that the investment required for Project A is £20,000 and the investment requirement for Project B is £2,000,000, you’re probably not thinking about choosing Project B anymore. Ascertain whether an investment is viable with computed input of ROI to allow an informed decision on investment management. In that case, both metrics provide useful perspectives to make an informed decision. For example, if a project costs $1,000 and will return $1,200, it’s a “go.” The major distinction between the two is that the profitability index depicts a “relative” measure of value, whereas the net present value (NPV) represents an “absolute” measure of value. However, since both PIs are less than 1.0, the company may end up forgoing either project in favor of a better opportunity elsewhere.

We will then include this amount in the initial formula for the position of the numerator. At the same time, we will have the amount of the initial investment in the position of the denominator. The PI allows a comparison between the present value of expected future cash flows and the initial investment, thereby ranking investment options based on their projected return. A profitability index that exceeds 1 indicates that the present value of future cash flows surpasses the initial investment, suggesting that the project in question would be profitable.

## ( . Capital rationing with limited funds:

The profitability index (PI) is a tool to measure the monetary benefits (i.e. cash inflows) received for each dollar invested (i.e. cash outflow), with the cash flows discounted back to the present date. The present value of future cash flows requires the implementation of time value of money calculations. Cash flows are discounted the appropriate number of periods to equate future cash flows to current monetary levels. Cash flows received further in the future are therefore considered to have a lower present value than money received closer to the present.

Let’s take an example to understand the calculation of the Profitability Index formula in a better manner. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. Our online magazine offers practical, actionable advice to help startups succeed across key areas like business strategy, marketing, technology, leadership, management and more.

This invaluable tool provides users with a numeric value that represents a project’s profitability relative to its initial investment. The Profitability Index (PI) or profit investment ratio (PIR) is a widely used measure for evaluating viability and profitability of an investment project. It is calculated by dividing the present value of future cash flows by the initial amount invested. If the profitability index is greater than or equal to 1, it is termed a good and acceptable investment. The profitability index (PI) measures the expected value an investment will generate relative to its initial cost.