Microsoft Corp reported a 31 percent rise in fiscal third-quarter net profit on Thursday, helped by strong sales of its Office suite of applications and a one-time tax gain.

The world's largest software company reported profit of $5.2 billion, or 61 cents per share, compared with $4 billion, or 45 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Five cents per share of that profit was attributed to a one-time tax benefit.

Sales rose 13 percent to $16.4 billion.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Gary Hill)