How Do Industry Multiples Help Shape Business Value?

Written by Elements Advisory Group
December 8, 2023
Share this

Business Value, Valuation service, Valuations, value

Embarking on a business valuation requires a keen understanding of ‘Industry Multiples,’ which are vital benchmarks in the financial landscape.

Picture these multiples as a swift and strategic method to appraise the worth of your business by measuring its profitability against companies in the same sector. It’s similar to assessing the market value of a property by comparing it with the recent sale prices of neighbouring houses.

This approach doesn’t just quantify your business’s value; it provides a glimpse into how it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with competitors, giving you a clear edge as you start the valuation process.

Determining The Right Multiple

Determining the right multiple for a business valuation is a precise blend of hard data and expert insight. It starts with a deep dive into market transactions for businesses like yours, providing a snapshot of prevailing valuation trends. This method ensures that the value you arrive at is not just a number in isolation but a figure that stands up to the scrutiny of the broader market.

Yet, it’s essential to recognise that your business is as individual as a fingerprint. That’s why meticulously evaluating your business’s unique risk profile is critical. Should your business carry a heftier risk, the multiple assigned may tip towards a more conservative end of the scale, affecting its overall value.

It’s important to remember that while guidelines exist, true expertise lies in interpreting and applying these multiples. That’s where the value of engaging with a specialist business valuer comes into play. Elements Advisory Group is equipped with the experience and analytical skills to navigate through this complex process, ensuring your business is not just valued but valued accurately and fairly in the context of today’s market.

Current Multiples by Industry

There’s no one-size-fits-all multiple. Industry multiples vary widely, and while there are reports that try to standardise them, they often fall short due to the individual nature of businesses. For example, within the manufacturing sector, multiples can swing from as low as 1x to as high as 7x, underscoring the point of each specific business is critical.

Industry Valuation Multiples

SectorEBITDA Multiple Range
Food Processing5-10x
Waste and Industrial4-10x
IT and Digital6-14x
Energy, Power & Utilities6-10x
Transport and Logistics5-10x
Professional Services5-12x

*eCommerce businesses are generally valued using a revenue multiple

Choosing the right multiple is about understanding the rate of return an investor would expect based on the risks involved. A simple way to visualize this is: if an investor requires a 25% return, the multiple would be 4 (1 divided by 0.25). The more the risk, the higher the expected return, and thus, the lower the multiple.

Engage With Business Valuation Specialists

Understanding industry multiples is a significant first step towards a business valuation. It’s a complex yet vital component of your business value. If you’re a business owner in the preliminary stages of considering a business valuation, consider these fundamentals discussed.

Bear in mind that although there are established guidelines, the genuine skill resides in how these multiples are interpreted and applied to your situation. This is precisely why you need to consult with a specialist business valuer. The experts at Elements Advisory Group bring a wealth of experience and sharp analytical skills to the table, steering through the intricacies of this process. We are committed to ensuring that your business valuation is precise and equitable, reflecting today’s market conditions.

Ready to take the next step? Contact us at the Elements Advisory Group for a comprehensive business valuation.

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Related insights

The firm

About us

Our team


How we help

All services

Business Advisory & Valuation

Bookkeeping & Management Accounting



Events & Webinars

Free Resources

Our clients