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Like for Like

Like for Like is a financial comparison method used to evaluate the performance of a business by comparing similar periods or entities on an equal basis. It allows for a more accurate assessment of changes in key financial metrics by eliminating the impact of external factors that may skew the results.


When conducting financial analysis, it is crucial to isolate the effects of internal changes from those influenced by external factors. Like for Like analysis serves as a valuable tool for this purpose. By comparing similar periods or entities, such as consecutive quarters or branches within an organization, on an equal footing, financial professionals can better understand the underlying trends and evaluate the true performance of the business.

Using the Like for Like method involves comparing specific financial measures, such as sales, revenue, expenses, or profit, without including any changes resulting from factors outside the control of the business itself. For example, if a retailer aims to measure the growth of its same-store sales, it would only consider the revenue earned by stores operating for at least a year rather than including the revenue from newly opened stores. This enables better identification of trends, as it removes the influence of new store openings or closures.

The Like for Like approach is especially valuable in industries experiencing rapid expansion or contraction, where external factors may significantly impact the overall results. By focusing on comparable periods or entities, it becomes possible to identify and evaluate the organic growth or decline of the business separate from other factors.

This analysis method is particularly relevant in retail, where the performance of individual stores or branches can vary due to factors such as location, customer base, or market conditions. Comparing the performance of stores that are similar in these aspects enables retailers to identify the effect of changes in processes, strategies, or customer preferences while eliminating variations caused by external factors.

When conducting a Like for Like analysis, it is important to ensure the periods or entities being compared are truly comparable. Factors such as seasonality, economic conditions, or changes in business operations should be taken into account to avoid misinterpretation of the results. Furthermore, any exceptional events or one-time expenses should be carefully considered to avoid skewing the analysis.

In conclusion, Like for Like analysis is a method used in financial evaluation to compare similar periods or entities on an equal basis. By eliminating the impact of external factors, financial professionals can better assess the true performance of a business and identify underlying trends. Its application in industries like retail allows for a granular understanding of the organic growth or decline of individual stores or branches. When conducting a Like for Like analysis, considering factors affecting comparability is essential for accurate interpretation of results.