Emili Gironella, full academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), doctor of Economic and Business Sciences and recognized auditor, has published with María del Carmen Barcons, professor of Financial Economics and Accounting at the University of Barcelona, the study “El ebitda. ¿Indicador útil o inútil?” (The ebitda, useful or useless indicator?), whose first two parts -of the three that complete it- have already appeared in the second and third edition of the Revista Técnica Contable y Financiera.
Gironella and Barcons point out how ebitda is an unofficial indicator not regulated for the International Financial Reporting Standards that has become popular in recent years and that is widely used by financial analysts and large companies and companies or groups of companies whose shares are listed on regulated markets, besides having become a habitual concept of the economic information of our days.
Generally understood as the indicator to summarize, in a single figure, a certain partial margin of the profitability of a company, obtained by difference between recurring operating income and recurring costs and operating expenses, which have an impact in the treasury, the ebitda was born in the 80s of the last century as a mechanism of financial institutions to determine if a company generated sufficient business volume to pay the expenses incurred. Although, as the experts warn, “the ebitda reflects only part of the profitability of a company or entity, specifically referred to the central operation of the business, without being a full reflection of its profitability and ability to generate resources”.
Gironella and Barcons also question the concepts that must be taken into account in the calculation of ebitda so that it is really a reliable indicator that reflects the real operational capacity of a society and not simply an indicator that is more in the service of society to the time to present attractive results instead of a useful mechanism for markets, even if it is an indicator with known standards. The analysts offer in the development of their study several examples that help to understand and determine the reliability of the ebitda by activities and sectors.