Whirlpool Corporation Reports Strong First-Quarter Sales and Earnings
North American and European Operations Drive Improvement

Whirlpool Corporation today announced first-quarter 2004 net earnings of $101 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, compared to $91 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, in the same period last year.

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First-quarter net sales of $3 billion increased 10.7 percent from the same period last year. Excluding currency translations, net sales increased approximately 5 percent.

"The company's solid results were driven by the strong performance of our North American and European operations," said David R. Whitwam, Whirlpool Corporation's chairman and chief executive officer. "Record sales, unit shipments and significant profit improvement from these two regions underscore the strength and momentum of our global business. These results were tempered by rising raw material costs worldwide, as well as the negative effects of currency in Latin America."

First-Quarter Highlights

* Net earnings of $1.43 per diluted share increased 8.3 percent from the prior-year period.

* Sales and unit shipments were first-quarter records for the company.

* Free cash flow improved $104 million compared to the prior-year period. Free cash flow is cash from operations after proceeds from the sale of fixed assets, dividends and capital expenditures.

* The effects of currency reduced earnings by approximately $0.20 per share, with the largest impact in Latin America.

* The company announced plans to build a new built-in cooking appliance production platform at its facility in Wroclaw, Poland, with initial production volume anticipated for 2005. Whirlpool's Wroclaw facility is part of the company's global manufacturing network that produces a wide range of branded appliances in cost-competitive locations for regional and global markets.

* In March, Whirlpool extended its relationship with Habitat for Humanity International by committing to support the construction of Habitat-built homes in Europe. Since 1999, Whirlpool has donated approximately 40,000 appliances to Habitat as part of the company's $25 million commitment to the organization's effort to provide adequate housing to families in need. With this latest commitment, Whirlpool now donates a refrigerator and range to every Habitat for Humanity home built in North America and Europe.

* Whirlpool brand announced its sponsorship of the 2004 Reba McEntire concert tour to benefit Habitat for Humanity International. The concert tour will begin June 4 in Connecticut and visit more than two dozen cities across the U.S. to raise awareness and support for Habitat for Humanity.

Global Innovation

During the quarter, Whirlpool continued to leverage the company's unique innovation process to accelerate the development and introduction of innovative products and services for customers worldwide. Here is a summary of first-quarter developments:

* Currently, more than 500 active projects are in the company's innovation pipeline with 85 projects in the later stages of commercialization. Many of these innovations will be launched throughout 2004. Whirlpool's innovation process involves employees from around the world who provide a diversity of ideas and creativity necessary to develop branded products that are valued by customers.

* Average sales values of Whirlpool products again increased during the first quarter due to consumer demand for its higher-margin innovations, many of which were on display at key trade shows and events in the United States, Europe and Brazil.

- Kitchen and International Bath Show, Chicago: The KitchenAid brand introduced the Ensemble clothes washer and dryer to KitchenAid brand enthusiasts. The professional-quality fabric care pair extends KitchenAid's position in the home, complements the classic look, feel and performance of all KitchenAid products and leverages the company's unique global capabilities in design, manufacturing and distribution.

- International Builder's Show, Las Vegas: The company's Gladiator GarageWorks demonstrates how dramatically a system of modular storage units and specially constructed appliances -- like the new Freezerator™ refrigerator designed for temperature extremes -- can transform the garage. Likewise, innovative fabric care products from Whirlpool brand hidden smartly within cabinets and counters turn the traditional laundry room into an inviting family space. These and other innovative branded products are fueling Whirlpool's growth within the U.S. builder channel.

- Whirlpool Europe's trade show event, Cannes: The company welcomed more than 2,000 retail trade partners and media from throughout Europe to Cannes for the unveiling of Whirlpool's concept kitchens of the future, as well as its latest product innovations for consumers, which includes the new Whirlpool brand Progressive line of kitchen appliances. Whirlpool Europe's emphasis on design and style has helped make Whirlpool brand the No. 1 appliance brand in the region.

- Whirlpool Latin America trade and press event, Sao Paulo: At a major event attended by more than 600 retail trade partners from Brazil, Argentina and Chile, the company introduced Maestro, its latest global refrigeration innovation with a unique "V" design style. Maestro is easily customized to meet the unique needs of consumers in different countries. Introduced initially to Brazil's domestic market, the versatile new product will roll out to each of the company's global markets later this year.

First-Quarter Region Review

Whirlpool North America's sales of $1.89 billion increased 5.4 percent from the prior-year period. U.S. industry demand was strong during the quarter. Within this environment, sales, unit shipments, operating profit and cash flow were first-quarter records for the operation. Operating profit increased 17.7 percent, driven in part by effective brand and product mix management, as well as productivity gains. The improvement was also reflected in double-digit revenue increases in Whirlpool brand and KitchenAid brand products, as well as the company's home builder business.

U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances (T7) increased 7.6 percent from the prior-year period. Based on current economic conditions, the company now expects full-year U.S. industry shipments to increase 4 percent from last year's level.

Whirlpool Europe's sales of $680 million increased 20.5 percent from the prior-year period. Excluding currency translations, sales increased approximately 5 percent. Continued consumer demand for Whirlpool innovation and the company's continued emphasis on product and brand mix management helped drive a 51-percent increase in operating profit. Growth of the company's built-in appliance business, expansion of the Whirlpool brand, as well as significant cost savings from productivity gains contributed to the profit improvement as well.

First-quarter industry unit shipments increased 3 percent from the prior- year period. Based on current economic conditions, the company expects full- year industry shipments to increase approximately 3 percent.

Whirlpool Latin America's sales of $382 million increased 24.7 percent from the prior-year period. Excluding currency translations, sales increased approximately 11 percent. Operating profit declined 18 percent due entirely to the negative effects of currency on exports. Absent the effects of currency, operating profit would have increased by approximately 50 percent. Beginning in the second quarter, the company anticipates a return to more favorable currency comparisons on a year-over-year basis. The company also expects that the Brazilian economic environment will gradually improve as interest rates continue to decline.

First-quarter industry unit shipments in Brazil increased approximately 16 percent from the prior-year period. Based on current economic conditions, the company now expects full-year industry unit shipments to increase approximately 8-12 percent from last year's level.

Whirlpool Asia's sales of $88 million declined 5.1 percent from the prior-year period. Excluding currency translations, sales declined approximately 11 percent. During the quarter, the company adopted a new trade management strategy, which included new trade terms, and increased its operating reserves primarily for higher levels of bad debt. These actions resulted in an operating loss. The company expects to complete and begin realizing improved profit performance from the new trade strategy starting in the second quarter.

Based on current economic conditions, the company continues to expect full-year industry shipments to increase by 5-to-8 percent.


"Our operations will continue the rapid rate of new innovation introductions to customers worldwide as we continue to fully leverage our global operating platform," said Whitwam. "We also expect to drive improved results through effective brand and product mix management and increasingly higher levels of productivity."

"For the remainder of 2004," Whitwam added, "U.S. industry demand should be moderately better than our previous forecast. Pressures from raw material costs and the Brazilian economy will continue, though we expect to see some improvement in both areas as the year progresses. Based on these factors and our current view of market conditions worldwide, we continue to anticipate full-year earnings for 2004 in the range of $6.20 to $6.35 per share."

Additional operating segment information is available in the "Investors" section of www.whirlpoolcorp.com . At 9:30 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, April 21, 2004, the company will be hosting a conference call, which can be heard by visiting www.whirlpoolcorp.com and clicking on the "Investors" button and then the "Conference Call Audio" menu item.

*T7 refers to the following household appliance categories: washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ranges and compactors.

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of over $12 billion, 68,000 employees, and nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Consul and other major brand names to consumers in more than 170 countries. Additional information about the company can be found on the Internet at www.whirlpoolcorp.com .

This news release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In addition to the expected appliance industry results for 2004 noted in this news release, there are certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those anticipated by some of the statements made. These factors are listed in the company's most recently filed Form 10-Q and/or Form 10-K.

                              WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION
                       FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
                   (millions of dollars except per share data)

                                                    Three Months Ended
                                                  2004              2003
                                                 ------            ------
       Net sales                                 $3,007            $2,716

         Cost of products sold                    2,320             2,094
         Selling, general and administrative        483               433
         Restructuring costs                          1                 -
                                                 ------            ------
                                                  2,804             2,527
                                                 ------            ------
       OPERATING PROFIT                             203               189

         Interest and sundry income (expense)        (6)               (9)
         Interest expense                           (33)              (35)
                                                 ------            ------
         AND OTHER ITEMS                            164               145

               Income taxes                          61                52
                                                 ------            ------
         AND MINORITY INTERESTS                     103                93

             Equity in loss of affiliated
              companies                              (3)                -
             Minority interests                       1                (2)
                                                 ------            ------
       NET EARNINGS                                $101               $91
                                                 ======            ======
       Per share of common stock:
         Basic net earnings                       $1.47             $1.33
                                                 ======            ======
         Diluted net earnings                     $1.43             $1.32
                                                 ======            ======
         Dividends declared                        $.43              $.34
                                                 ======            ======

                            WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION
                            (millions of dollars)

                                                 March 31        December 31
                                                   2004             2003
                                               -----------       -----------

  Cash and equivalents                              $188             $249
  Trade receivables, less allowances
    (2004:  $112 ;2003: $113 )                     1,866            1,913
  Inventories                                      1,506            1,340
  Prepaid expenses                                    67               62
  Deferred income taxes                              121              129
  Other current assets                               186              172
                                               -----------       -----------
  Total Current Assets                             3,934            3,865
                                               -----------       -----------

  Investment in affiliated companies                  12               11
  Goodwill, net                                      165              165
  Other intangibles, net                             110               85
  Deferred income taxes                              290              268
  Prepaid pension costs                              357              357
  Other assets                                       166              154
                                               -----------       -----------
                                                   1,100            1,040
                                               -----------       -----------

  Land                                                82               84
  Buildings                                          988            1,004
  Machinery and equipment                          5,383            5,391
  Accumulated depreciation                        (4,089)          (4,023)
                                               -----------       -----------
                                                   2,364            2,456
                                               -----------       -----------
  Total Assets                                    $7,398           $7,361
                                               ===========       ===========


  Notes payable                                     $452             $260
  Accounts payable                                 1,846            1,944
  Employee compensation                              248              303
  Deferred income taxes                               53               48
  Accrued expenses                                   604              701
  Restructuring costs                                 39               45
  Other current liabilities                          282              269
  Current maturities of long-term debt                10               19
                                               -----------       -----------
  Total Current Liabilities                        3,534            3,589
                                               -----------       -----------

  Deferred income taxes                              225              236
  Pension benefits                                   364              298
  Postemployment benefits                            487              489
  Product warranty                                    53               53
  Other liabilities                                  192              198

  Long-term debt                                   1,125            1,134
                                               -----------       -----------
                                                   2,446            2,408
                                               -----------       -----------

  MINORITY INTERESTS                                  62               63

  Common stock, $1 par value:                         90               88
      Shares authorized - 250 million
      Shares issued - 90 million
       (2004); 89 million (2003)
      Shares outstanding - 69 million
       (2004); 69 million (2003)
  Paid-in capital                                    718              659
  Retained earnings                                2,377            2,276
  Accumulated other comprehensive
   income (loss)                                    (789)            (757)
  Treasury stock - 21 million (2004);
   20 million (2003)                              (1,040)            (965)
                                               -----------       -----------
  Total Stockholders' Equity                       1,356            1,301
                                               -----------       -----------

  Total Liabilities and Stockholders'
   Equity                                         $7,398           $7,361
                                               ===========       ===========

                          WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION
                     FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
                            (millions of dollars)

                                                   2004              2003
                                                  ------            ------

  Net earnings                                      $101               $91
  Adjustments to reconcile net earnings
   to net cash flows used in operating
   (Gain) loss on disposition of assets               (1)                -
  Depreciation and amortization                      112               108
  Changes in assets and liabilities:
      Trade receivables                               30               (14)
      Inventories                                   (175)             (199)
      Accounts payable                               (81)              (60)
      Restructuring charges, net of cash paid         (5)              (23)
      Taxes deferred and payable, net                 44               (26)
      Accrued pension                                 15                14
      Other - net                                   (181)             (127)
                                                  ------            ------
  Cash Used In Operating Activities                $(141)            $(236)
                                                  ------            ------

  Capital expenditures                              $(54)             $(58)
  Proceeds from sale of assets                        19                 7
                                                  ------            ------
  Cash Used In Investing Activities                 $(35)             $(51)
                                                  ------            ------

  Net proceeds of short-term borrowings             $199              $477
  Proceeds of long-term debt                           -                 8
  Repayments of long-term debt                        (9)             (206)
  Dividends paid                                     (30)              (23)
  Purchase of treasury stock                         (75)                -
  Common stock issued under stock plans               51                 -
  Other                                              (19)               (6)
                                                  ------            ------
  Cash Provided By Financing Activities             $117              $250
                                                  ------            ------
  Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on
   Cash and Equivalents                              $(2)               $2
                                                  ------            ------
  Decrease in Cash and Equivalents                  $(61)             $(35)
  Cash and Equivalents at Beginning of Period        249               192
                                                  ------            ------
  Cash and Equivalents at End of Period             $188              $157
                                                  ======            ======
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SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Tom Kline, +1-269-923-3738,
thomas_e_kline@whirlpool.com , or Financial: Thomas Filstrup, +1-269-923-3189,
thomas_c_filstrup@whirlpool.com , both of Whirlpool Corporation