surging top-line growth / bottom line


Senior Member
Morning !

The following sentence is taken from a newspaper article, published on, and it deals with the rollercoaster successes and plummeting losses of Marks & Spencer (compared to Tesco, Sainsbury's, etc)

"It was unfortunately for Mr Rose that he had to announce his miserable sales figures as Tesco Chief, Sir Tierry Leahy, was trumpeting his surging top-line growth.

I really don't understand what role "top-line" plays in this sentence. Does it refer to the top-line brands or products, or is it merely an intensifier such as "surging" ??

I hope I have supplied enough information for you to help me out !
  • eclypse

    Senior Member
    Thank you, I gathered that much. But I am asking for the definition of "top-line", ie what it refers to. You might want to bear in mind that I am translating this text into French, so it is imperative that I fully understand what exactly is meant by "top-line". Thank you

    Stefan Ivanovich

    Senior Member
    The top-line figure is the revenue, the turnover, the sales figure.
    The bottom-line figure is the margin, ie the top-line figure minus all costs.

    This of course refers to a presentation like this:

    SALES............. 10,000 <== top line
    PRODUCTION COST... (7,500)
    DELIVERY COST .... (1,000)
    OTHER COST ......... (400)
    OP MARGIN ......... 1,100 <== bottom line

    (If that request had been posted in the Fr/En forum, we would have been allowed to add top-line = chiffre d'affaire, bottom line = marge, bénéfices)
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