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Profit before tax surged 286.4% year on year to US$60 million, supported by a 90.2% increase in revenue and doubling of profit margin.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct ? Should the participle phrase "supported......" be put at the beginning of the sentence ?

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  • "year on year" should be "year over year" (YOY) growth. investopedia.com/terms/y/year-over-year.asp "Profit before tax" should be changed to "Pretax profits". These are both defined phrases in business/financial writing.
    – Phil
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 19:17
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    As for "year on year" vs. "year over year", I think this Google Ngram chart is interesting: books.google.com/ngrams/…. Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:39

3 Answers 3

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Phil's points about using established phrases for the industry ("year over year", etc) are worthwhile, as they can make it much easier for your audience to understand your meaning, but regarding the explicit question, the sentence as provided is grammatically correct, yes.

Regarding the placement of the "supported" phrase, it would be perfectly acceptable to place it either at the beginning or the end of the sentence (both are grammatically correct). Where you put it really depends on which part of the sentence you want to emphasize most.

Pretax profits surged 280% year over year to US$60 million, supported by a doubled profit margin and a 90% increase in revenue.

This emphasizes the pretax profits as being the most important part of the sentence, whereas the profit margin and revenue increases are a less important (explanatory) point.

Supported by a doubled profit margin and a 90% increase in revenue, pretax profits surged 280% year over year to US$60 million.

This sentence puts the emphasis on the profit margin and revenue as being the most important point being made, whereas the profits are a secondary consideration.

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  • Thanks. Noticed that you changed "doubling of profit margin" to "a doubled profit margin". Is the phrase "doubling ..." not right ?
    – Pupu
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 3:27
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Although grammatically correct (as per jimsug) I would like to suggest a revised sentence that would read better in business or financial writing:

Pretax profits surged 280% year over year to US$60 million, supported by a doubled profit margin and a 90% increase in revenue.

Justification

  1. "Pretax profits" is a set phrase and will require less effort to read.
  2. "year over year" is the name of a defined metric.
  3. I reduced the precision on some figures to be more consistent: providing four significant figures for a percentage and then rounding to the the nearest million (or 10 million, unclear) dollars makes little sense.
  4. switched order, since the profit margin is profit divided by revenue, it the result should come first.
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  • Thanks. Noticed that you changed "doubling of profit margin" to "a doubled profit margin". Is the phrase "doubling ..." not right ?
    – Pupu
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 14:18
  • @Pupu Your phrase was correct and understandable, but it gave me the feeling that you are saying: "We wanted to increase profits so we doubled the profit margin". Everyone wants to double their profit margin: you can't do that by choice, only by hard work. I think it is more powerful to say "doubled" since that confirms you were able to do it.
    – Phil
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 17:21
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The above is perfectly grammatical: commas mark constituent/phrase movement in writing (and is marked in speech by a pitch movement).

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