Marx’s Economic Manuscripts of 1861-63
Capital and Profit

4) The Same Surplus Value may be expressed in very different Rates of Profit; the Same Rate of Profit may express very Different Surplus Values

Volume 33, MECW, p. 77

Thus, if the surplus value is converted into profit, i.e., considered numerically, if the surplus value is calculated in proportion to the total amount of capital advanced, the following propositions a re a further consequence of this different presentation:

An equal profit may express different rates of surplus value. Take for example a profit of 10%. If the capital is 600, with constant capital 500 and variable 100, 60 thalers of surplus value amount to 60%, at the same time 10%, on a capital of 600. If the capital of 600 consists of 400 thalers of constant capital and 200 thalers of variable, 60 on 200 thalers amounts to a surplus value of 30%. The profit continues to be 10%. Finally, if the capital of 600 consists of 550 constant and 50 thalers of variable capital, 60 on 50 would amount to 120% surplus value (50:60=100:120) but profit would continue to be 10%.