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Home  >  Corporate Info.  >  Message from the President

Message from the President

Despite the persistently challenging market environment, we will enhance our ability for providing high-quality services from a customer-first perspective toward expanding our business volume as well as achieving sustainable growth for the Group overall and stable returns to shareholders.

Shigeru Ishii, President and Representative Director

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 2016, the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, the business environment remained challenging. This was largely because interest rates remained low, paralleling the Bank of Japan′s monetary easing policy. Nevertheless, the Sony Financial Group took a flexible approach to measures aimed at improving profitability, and achieved steady expansion in business volume for its three core business segments.

At Sony Life, measures were implemented to boost profitability, including product revisions and a shift in the product mix toward U.S. dollar-denominated insurance and term life insurance, and the company was able to maintain the new policy amount on a par with its record-high posted in fiscal 2015. At Sony Assurance, insurance policies steadily increased, mainly by expanding online discounts to new customers signing up for mainstay automobile insurance and by reinforcing marketing and communication techniques. A notable new product for Sony Assurance is ZiPPi medical insurance, which covers actual patient-paid expenses. At Sony Bank, the balance of mortgage loans expanded, driven by soaring customer needs for refinancing. Sony Bank WALLET cash cards with a Visa debit function in 11 currencies also proved popular, substantiated by its higher number of issuance.

Looking at consolidated results in fiscal 2016, ordinary revenues rose 1.4% year on year, to ¥1,381.6 billion, consolidated ordinary profit decreased 6.7%, to ¥66.3 billion, and profit attributable to owners of the parent fell 4.0%, to ¥41.6 billion. The dividend for fiscal 2016 was ¥55 per share, the same as in fiscal 2015.

In fiscal 2016, the Sony Financial Group embarked on a new three-year medium-term management plan. Though it has only been a year, progress toward the expansion of business volume at each Group company is generally on track. The operating environment surrounding the Group is sure to remain challenging, characterized by persistently low interest rates. However, our direction—seeking to establish competitive excellence and realize sustainable growth—remains unchanged, and we will achieve this goal by further enhancing our ability to provide high-quality services from a customer-first perspective.

In addition, in fiscal 2016 we sought to maximize corporate value on a Groupwide basis by optimizing capital, risk and return and introduced an enterprise risk management (ERM) framework that underpins improvements in capital efficiency. Going forward, we will continue our efforts to reinforce management practices. From a long-term perspective, we will place emphasis on raising the level of convenience for customers and enhancing operating efficiency through the use of advanced technologies, epitomized by artificial intelligence (AI) and FinTech.

As for dividends to shareholders, our basic policy has not changed and we will continue to aim for steady increases in dividends in line with revenue growth over the medium to long term, based on our policy of providing stable dividends.

Notwithstanding, we have partially revised our medium-term dividend policy, effective from fiscal 2017. Previously, we used a certain payout ratio based on underlying statutory profit as our medium-term target. However, going forward we will take a broader view of profit, prioritizing economic value-based indicators that more closely represent medium-term growth of our business. We will continue our efforts to achieve steady increases in dividends over the medium term in our ongoing commitment to meet the expectations of shareholders.

July 2017

Shigeru Ishii
Shigeru Ishii
President and Representative Director
Sony Financial Holdings Inc.