Is Portmeirion Group PLC’s (LON:PMP) 12% Return On Capital Employed Good News?

Today we’ll evaluate Portmeirion Group PLC (LON:PMP) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. Renowned investment researcher Michael Mauboussin has suggested that a high ROCE can indicate that ‘one dollar invested in the company generates value of more than one dollar’.

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

Or for Portmeirion Group:

0.12 = UK£7.8m ÷ (UK£82m – UK£19m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

So, Portmeirion Group has an ROCE of 12%.

Check out our latest analysis for Portmeirion Group

Does Portmeirion Group Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. It appears that Portmeirion Group’s ROCE is fairly close to the Consumer Durables industry average of 14%. Separate from Portmeirion Group’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

The image below shows how Portmeirion Group’s ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

AIM:PMP Past Revenue and Net Income April 11th 2020
AIM:PMP Past Revenue and Net Income April 11th 2020

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. If Portmeirion Group is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Portmeirion Group’s ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Portmeirion Group has total assets of UK£82m and current liabilities of UK£19m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 23% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

Our Take On Portmeirion Group’s ROCE

Overall, Portmeirion Group has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Portmeirion Group shapes up well under this analysis, but it is far from the only business delivering excellent numbers . You might also want to check this free collection of companies delivering excellent earnings growth.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.