We will steadily leverage growth achieved through stronger existing businesses, while we make strategic moves from a long-term perspective to secure further growth by taking full advantage of changes that will occur 10 years into the future.
Let me express my deepest appreciation to all stakeholders for the continued support and interest you have extended to the Sony Financial Group.
In fiscal 2017, ended March 31, 2018, the business environment continued to present challenges, including long-term interest rates in Japan that remained low. However,the Sony Financial Group performed well, with efforts to improve profitability and enrich the customer service menu leading to steady growth in business volume for all three core business segments.
Given the low interest rate environment in Japan, Sony Life emphasized activities aimed at raising profitability on an economic value basis. The Company’s approach included efforts to enrich the lineup of U.S. dollar-denominated insurance products and reinforce consulting sales and follow-up. Sony Assurance steadily increased policies for mainstay automobile insurance and implemented measures to boost service quality, such as the launch of SECOM Accident On-site Rush Service. Sony Bank built up the balance of mortgage loans and steadily expanded the number of Sony Bank WALLET cash cards with Visa debit function in 11 currencies.
A look at consolidated results of the Sony Financial Group for fiscal 2017 shows that ordinary revenues increased 8.8%, to ¥1,503.6 billion, ordinary profit increased 0.8%, to ¥66.8 billion, and profit attributable to owners of the parent was up 24.7%, to ¥51.8 billion. Consolidated adjusted ROE, a key performance indicator, reached 6.1%, up 2.2 points from a year earlier.
In light of such factors as changes in the business environment, the Group formulated a new three-year medium-term business plan, effective from fiscal 2018.The three years of the new medium-term business plan will be a time for strategic moves from a long-term perspective to secure further growth by taking full advantage of changes that will occur 10 years into the future. Also, in formulating the new medium-term business plan, the Group recognized two points—“customer-first” and “response to changes”—of major significance to the Group.
Over the next three years, the Group will emphasize“customer-first” business operation more strongly, and Sony Financial Holdings will reinforce governance structure over Group companies. In addition, the Group will create opportunities through its “response to changes” in the operating environment, namely, technological progress and a new social landscape, and lay a solid foundation for future growth.
These measures should drive growth for 10 years and even 20 years into the future, and during that time, we will strive to be a group that earns and keeps the trust of our customers.
With regard to dividends to shareholders for fiscal 2017, the payout was raised ¥5 per share over the fiscal 2016 level, to ¥60 per share. We aim for steady increases in dividends in line with earnings growth over the medium to long term. In determining dividends, we place more importance on economic value-based profit indicators that are more suitable for evaluating the growth of the life insurance business, in addition to statutory profit. The dividend forecast for fiscal 2018 is ¥62.50 per share, up ¥2.50 from fiscal 2017.
We will continue to seek the sustainable growth of the Sony Financial Group and raise corporate value, as we contribute to the development of society.
President and Representative Director
Sony Financial Holdings Inc.