Leverage and business profitability in SMEs in the industrial sector of Ecuador from 2017 to 2021

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Miller Sáenz Romero
Antonio Poveda Guevara


The present research aims to evaluate the leverage and profitability of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial sector in Ecuador. To achieve this, a documentary analysis of the financial statements issued by the Superintendence of Companies was carried out in order to identify trends and patterns of behavior in the period between 2017 and 2021. In addition, a correlation analysis was performed using Pearson's correlation test in SPSS, with the purpose of determining the existing relationship between financial leverage and profitability of SMEs. The study population consisted of the 5915 SMEs in the industrial sector that filed their financial statements with the Superintendency of Companies during the aforementioned period. The results obtained revealed a varied distribution of companies with different levels of profitability, expressed through the return on equity (ROE) indicator. In general, a concentration of companies with ROE below 0.1 was observed, indicating difficulties in generating profits and low efficiency in the use of financial resources. Over the years analyzed, a slight improvement was detected in some ROE intervals. However, the proportion of companies with high levels of profitability was limited. These findings suggest the existence of a positive relationship between leverage and corporate profitability in the period studied.


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Sáenz Romero, M., & Poveda Guevara, A. (2023). Leverage and business profitability in SMEs in the industrial sector of Ecuador from 2017 to 2021. Centro Sur, 7(3), 45–75. Recuperado a partir de https://centrosureditorial.com/index.php/revista/article/view/319