Sony's profits surged by 346 percent in the three-month period ending September 30th, the Japanese tech giant revealed as part of its consolidated financial report for the third quarter of the calendar year, i.e. the second quarter of its fiscal year 2017. The company's operating profit reached 204 billion yen ($1.8 billion) during the quarter, with its sales amounting to $18.2 billion, having jumped by 22.1 percentage points year-on-year. Revenue recorded by the firm's Mobile Communications segment essentially remained flat compared to the same period last year, having been boosted by fixed-line communications sales to enterprise clients and foreign currency exchange rate changes but brought down by weakening smartphone sales which amounted to approximately 3.5 million between July and September, 100,000 less than what Sony recorded in the previous year.
Some increases in prices of key smartphone components also impacted the profitability of Sony's mobile business which is losing ground in a number of markets and has led the company to lower its annual target of handset sales to 15.5 million, down by one million compared to the forecast given in August. The company's mobile unit didn't experience a more severe performance decline due to a reduction in operating costs, with marketing expenses being a big contributor to the offsetting trend, Sony suggested. The tech giant is now expecting smartphone sales to generate $6.8 billion in revenue over the entire 2017 fiscal year ending March 31st, down by approximately $352 million compared to the August figure. Mobile sensors proved to be strong performers over the last period, having accounted for an operating income of $435 million on just over $2 billion in sales. This product category also boosted the firm's semiconductor business as a whole which is now back in the black after recording a minimal loss of $37 million in the same quarter last year and now essentially switching the mathematical symbol in front of its bottom line figure.
Sony is currently enjoying a relatively strong performance after investors responded to its corporate overhaul in a positive manner, boosting its stock to the highest level in almost a decade. The conglomerate's new corporate strategy is seeking to put a higher emphasis on its presently strongest divisions while transitioning away from other businesses, consequently leading to Sony putting less focus on its smartphones which are still on a decline partially due to those very same diminishing efforts to turn things around.