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English at Work: Talking about Company Performance

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

You can use these verb and preposition combinations to discuss how a company is performing. These phrases can be used in the context of financial performance, stock market performance, or non-financial performance. See the phrases and examples below.

Downward performance

to decrease (to/by/from...)

"Our profits decreased by 8% last year."

"Their employee numbers decreased by ten."

to fall (to/by/from...)

"Our sales numbers have fallen to record lows."

"Costs have fallen by 10% across the board." (in every area)

to drop (to/by/from...)

"Company bonuses have dropped by 5% since this time last year."

"We're losing a ton of clients. We've dropped from over 300 to around 250."

Upward performance

to increase (to/by/from...)

"Their profits increased by 15% last quarter."

"We've increased our employee numbers from 40 to 50 people."

to rise (to/by/from...)

"Our numbers are rising from average to exceptional."

"Worker efficiency has risen to its highest levels since we started the company."

to peak (at)

"Our numbers peaked at 500,000 last year." (reached their highest point)

"I think we're going to peak at 20%."

You can also use the noun forms of these vocabulary items, often with the prepositions "of" and "in." For instance:

"We saw an increase of 5%"

"There was a drop of 21% last quarter."

"Our all-time sales peak was in Q3 2018."

"There was a decrease in profits last year."

"We saw a significant rise in social media engagement."

"We've seen an alarming fall in customer loyalty."

Can you think of other examples?

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