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Should You Like Breville Group Limited’s (ASX:BRG) High Return On Capital Employed?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Breville Group Limited (ASX:BRG) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. To be precise, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

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. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since 'No two businesses are exactly alike.

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 Breville Group:

0.26 = AU$97m ÷ (AU$510m - AU$143m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Breville Group has an ROCE of 26%.

Check out our latest analysis for Breville Group

Does Breville Group Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, we find that Breville Group's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 20% average in the Consumer Durables industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, Breville Group's ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

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

ASX:BRG Past Revenue and Net Income, September 26th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Breville Group.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Breville 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. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Breville Group has total assets of AU$510m and current liabilities of AU$143m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 28% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.

Our Take On Breville Group's ROCE

This is good to see, and with such a high ROCE, Breville Group may be worth a closer look. Breville 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.