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Sharp History

1945-1952 : End of WWll, Company Revival

The War Ends and a Business Revival Begins

On August 15, 1945, World War Ⅱ ended. Japan had been devastated by the war. Its manufacturing facilities and infrastructure lay in ruins as it took its first steps toward what would be a difficult economic revival.

In an effort to return to his core business of radio production, Tokuji Hayakawa divested himself of the Kyoto and Izumi-Fuchu (Osaka) Plants, but production was incapacitated by shortages of materials. Sales were also negligible since people had virtually no disposable income. The outlook for the company's survival was bleak.

Listed on the Stock Market

In 1949, the demand for radio sets recovered, resulting in a modest but crucial upturn in the company's performance. In May the company was listed for the first time on the Osaka Stock Exchange.

A Period of Recession

The company's renewed success was short-lived. To check inflation caused by shortages of food and materials, the occupation forces implemented tight fiscal measures (the Dodge Line). This sent the economy into a tailspin, and radio manufacturers were hard hit. Sales came to a standstill not only because of the economy but also because commercial radio stations were about to open: conventional radio sets would not be able to pick up the new frequencies and consumers were waiting for new models to appear. Bankruptcies slashed the number of radio manufacturers from 80 to 18.

Turning to Face the Challenge

In March 1950 the company was 4.65 million yen in debt. The company's stock had dropped to 14 yen per share and its survival was again in doubt. However, financial institutions, labor unions and corporate management all rallied around and the company was saved once more.

Restructuring was still underway when the Korean War brought a boom in procurements by the US forces, which boosted the company's fortunes.

Introduction of a New Super Radio Set

In 1951 a score of commercial radio stations opened in Japan, and the company wasted no time in marketing a "Super Radio Set." The number of listeners in the country rose to 10 million. Annual production was back up to 430,000 units and sales per employee increased more than 3 times over the previous year. The company's stock price rose to 53 yen per share.

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