Aim of this survey

The Quarterly Operating Profits Survey (QOPS) collects data on profits earned from normal business operations and covers private non-financial corporations (PNFCs) trading in the UK in the industrial, commercial and services sectors. The information supplied is used to estimate quarterly growth rates in the gross operating profits of PNFCs. These estimates are then used to project annual data taken from Inland Revenue tax assessments, which is used in calculating the income measure of gross domestic product, (an important economic indicator which shows the total economic activity place in the country).

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • the value of your operating profit before exceptional items

  • the amount of depreciation, amortisation, impairment and losses on disposals

  • any exceptional items (an exceptional item is an unusually large and uncommon transaction charge that is not usually seen from the quarterly operations)

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for VAT and/or PAYE Population: The whole UK economy except businesses in the financial and public sectors, agricultural business and charities.
Sample: 1600
Frequency: Quarterly

Dispatch dates

  • Quarter 1: 19 to 21 March
  • Quarter 2: 19 to 21 June
  • Quarter 3: 19 to 21 September
  • Quarter 4: 11 to 13 December

Return-by dates

  • Quarter 1: 19 April
  • Quarter 2: 19 July
  • Quarter 3: 18 October
  • Quarter 4: 17 January

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK which are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The Quarterly Operating Profits Survey is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and return the questionnaire following the guidelines on the front page.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

At the moment, this survey is not available to complete online. We are currently developing a secure online collection platform. You will receive a letter notifying you when you can complete the Quarterly Operating Profits Survey on our new platform. We appreciate your patience.

How to find out more information

You can call us on 0300 1234 934. Please contact us on 0300 1234 921 if you would like to speak to someone in Welsh.

Email: Financial.Inquiries@ons.gov.uk

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