Sony Corporation on Friday published its consolidated financial report for the third quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, i.e. the final quarter of the last calendar year, revealing its highest-ever Q3 profit that nearly quadrupled its already promising income posted over the same period last year. The company's revenue grew 11.5-percent year-on-year, having amounted to over $23.6 billion and allowed for more than $3.1 billion in operating profit. The Tokyo, Japan-based tech giant hence managed to continue gaining momentum showcased in recent quarters which already signaled the firm is likely to report the most profitable year in its 72-year history.
Despite stellar overall results, the company's mobile business is still declining, with its sales dropping below $2 billion, hence experiencing an annual decline of over 31-percent. Mobile profit also fell but only by 5.4 percentage points to approximately $143 million, suggesting the firm's cost-cutting efforts in the segment have been yielding some results, allowing it to restructure its smartphone business in order to make it more effective at making money even as its market share continues declining. Sony's management reiterated its previous commitment to contemporary handsets following the publication of the firm's latest financials, describing the mobile industry as a sector it isn't prepared to give up on due to its potential to lead to the next big thing in consumer electronics. Sony also raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year 2017 in order to reflect on its latest results, saying it now expects to see historic profits of approximately $6.5 billion in the 12-month period ending this March. While the estimate is well above what industry analysts have been forecasting in recent months, so are Sony's Q3 FY2017 results, with its current fiscal year being set to conclude its mid-range corporate plan set in motion by Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai six years ago.
Shortly before the publication of the report, Mr. Hirai announced his intentions to resign and transition to the role of Sony's Chairman, leaving the hands-on leadership of the company to Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida as he proclaimed that "Sony is back," suggesting his mission to turn the tech giant around has been concluded. The 57-year-old will officially step down on March 31, allowing the firm to enter its next fiscal year under new management.