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Delicatessen — issued 2012

Industry overview

Businesses in this industry sell smallgoods including cooked meats, cheese and other fine foods. Some businesses may also operate a cafe or sandwich shop as a part of their business.

Performance benchmarks

These performance benchmarks are developed using information reported on income tax returns and activity statements for the 2009-10 year. Performance benchmarks are updated annually.

To review a comparison of previous years benchmarks, refer to previous year.

These benchmarks show a number of different financial ratios of business income to business expenses, to help businesses compare their performance against similar businesses in an industry.

The key benchmark ratio for this industry is cost of sales to turnover. This ratio is likely to be the most accurate predictor of business turnover. For businesses that do not report cost of sales or only report a small amount, total expenses to turnover can be used to predict turnover.

Businesses operating outside the key benchmark may be contacted by us.

During an audit, if a business does not have records to support their reported income and expenses, we may use benchmarks and other information available to assess the profits of the business.

For information about calculating benchmarks, refer to Small business benchmarks.

Key benchmark ratio Annual turnover range
  $65,000 — $250,000 $250,000 — $500,000 More than $500,000
Income tax return      
Cost of sales/turnover 53% — 67% 60% — 71% 61% — 74%
Average cost of sales 60% 66% 68%
Total expenses/turnover 84% — 91% 87% — 92% 89% — 94%
Average total expenses 87% 89% 91%
Activity statement
Non-capital purchases/ total sales 74% — 85% 75% — 85% 72% — 84%

Benchmarks are published as a range representing the ratios reported by businesses grouped either side of the average. Publishing benchmarks as a range allows for variations across financial years, regions and business models.

The following benchmarks are made available as a guide for businesses to review their performance and business practices against other similar businesses.

The following expenses are not reported by every business, so one or more of these benchmarks may not apply to an individual business.

Benchmark ratio Annual turnover range
Income tax return $65,000 — $250,000 $250,000 — $500,000 More than $500,000
Labour/turnover 5% — 9% 7% — 14% 7% — 13%
Rent/turnover 9% — 14% 6% — 11% 5% — 8%
Motor vehicle expenses/turnover 2% — 3% 1% — 2% 1%


Cost of sales

Cost of anything produced, manufactured, acquired or purchased for either:

  • manufacture
  • sale or exchange in deriving the gross proceeds
  • earnings of the business.

For the purposes of calculating the benchmark, cost of sales excludes labour.


Salary or wage payments, including contractor payments (amounts exclude GST). Labour does not include payments to associated parties — for example, labour provided by a business owner or business partner.

Total expenses

Total expenses reported on the income tax return less payments to associated parties (amounts exclude GST).

Non-capital purchases

Purchases reported at label G11 on your activity statement. Non-capital purchases include trading stock and normal running expenses, such as:

  • stationery and repairs
  • equipment rentals
  • leases.

Total sales

Total sales reported on activity statements (amounts include GST). This includes all your:

  • GST-free sales
  • input taxed sales
  • taxable sales.


Total revenue received from providing goods or services each year, excluding GST.

More information

For more information about small business benchmarks, refer to Small business benchmarks.

For more information about your tax obligations as a small business operator, refer to:

Last Modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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