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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

Panasonic's logo. Click here to visit the Panasonic website! PRESS RELEASE: Matsushita Reports March 2005 Annual Results

- Digital AV products, Home Appliances Contribute to Earnings Gains -

Osaka, Japan, April 28, 2005 -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Matsushita [NYSE symbol: MC]) today reported its annual financial results for the year ended March 31, 2005 (fiscal 2005).

Consolidated Results1
Consolidated group sales for fiscal 2005 increased 16%, to 8,713.6 billion yen (U.S.$81.44 billion), from 7,479.7 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Explaining fiscal 2005 results, the company cited sales gains in digital audiovisual (AV) equipment and home appliances, especially V-products, and the addition of Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. (MEW), PanaHome Corporation (PanaHome) and their respective subsidiaries to the company’s consolidated financial results. Of the consolidated group total, domestic sales increased 32% to 4,580.5 billion yen ($42.81 billion), compared with 3,477.5 billion yen a year ago. Overseas sales were up by 3%, to 4,133.1 billion yen ($38.63 billion), from 4,002.2 billion yen in fiscal 2004. Excluding the effects of currency translation, overseas sales increased 6% from a year ago on a local currency basis2.

During the first half of the fiscal year under review, the overall economic situation in Japan was favorable, characterized by increased consumer spending, due mainly to an unusually hot summer and demand related to the Athens Olympics. In the second half, however, concerns arose regarding a downturn in components and devices industries and price declines in digital products, as well as rising raw materials costs, including crude oil prices. Overseas, the global economy slowed somewhat in the second half. The U.S. economy, however, continued steady progress with strong consumer spending, mainly a result of an improved U.S. employment situation. Meanwhile, the economy in China also continued high growth. Accordingly, the global economic situation, as a whole, remained stable.

As the first year of the new mid-term management plan Leap Ahead 21, fiscal 2005 was viewed as a time for the company to implement initiatives to achieve growth and strengthen management structures at each business domain company.

Matsushita strived to enhance profitability in fiscal 2005 by launching a new line of V-products, expanding simultaneous global product introductions and increasing sales of home appliances. Meanwhile, through collaboration activities with MEW, the company integrated overlapping businesses and reformed distribution channels to establish an optimized, customer-oriented business structure. As a result, Matsushita will provide customers all over the world with solutions for comfortable living in the home and office. Other initiatives included the selection and concentration of management resources at each business domain company, the acceleration of business and organizational restructuring, company-wide cost reduction activities and the reduction of total assets, mainly inventories, all aimed at strengthening the company’s financial condition.

Regarding earnings, negative factors such as a strong yen, increased raw materials costs and intensified global price competition were more than offset by sales gains, comprehensive cost reduction efforts and other positive factors. As a result, consolidated operating profit3 for the year increased 58%, to 308.5 billion yen ($2.88 billion), compared with 195.5 billion yen in the previous year. During fiscal 2005, the company incurred restructuring charges of 93.2 billion yen ($871 million), while recording a 31.5 billion yen ($295 million) gain from the transfer of the substitutional portion of the Employees Pension Funds (EPF) to the Government4 in certain of the company’s subsidiaries. These, and other factors, resulted in a pre-tax income of 246.9 billion yen ($2.31 billion), up 45% from 170.8 billion yen last year. Net income for the full fiscal year totaled 58.5 billion yen ($547 million), an increase of 39% from 42.1 billion yen in the previous year. Net income per common share for the fiscal year was 25.49 yen ($0.24) on a diluted basis, versus a net income per common share of 18.00 yen a year ago.

Consolidated Sales Breakdown by Product Category
Effective April 1, 2004, the company reclassified its previous five product categories (AVC Networks, Home Appliances, Components and Devices, JVC, and Other) into six new product categories to reflect the consolidation of MEW, PanaHome and their respective subsidiaries. The six new product categories are: AVC Networks, Home Appliances, Components and Devices, MEW and PanaHome, JVC, and Other.

The company’s annual consolidated sales by reclassified product category, as compared with prior year amounts, are summarized as follows:

AVC Networks
AVC Networks sales decreased 2% to 3,558.8 billion yen ($33.26 billion), compared with 3,624.1 billion yen in the previous year. Within this category, sales of video and audio equipment increased 5% from a year ago, as strong sales in flat-panel TVs, digital cameras, and other digital AV equipment were more than sufficient to offset sluggish sales in VCRs and audio equipment.

Sales of information and communications equipment were down 6% from fiscal 2004. Although increased sales were recorded for PCs and automotive electronics, sales declines in cellular phones for overseas markets in addition to slow sales of telephones and facsimile machines led to an overall decline.

Home Appliances
Sales of Home Appliances increased 2% to 1,217.9 billion yen ($11.38 billion), compared with 1,189.1 billion yen in the previous year. Within Home Appliances, sales gains were achieved through unique products, such as new washer/dryers, while an unusually hot summer in Japan contributed to increased sales of air conditioners and compressors.

Components and Devices
Sales of Components and Devices decreased 3% to 1,112.5 billion yen ($10.40 billion), compared with 1,142.4 billion yen in the previous year. Sales in semiconductors, the key component in digital products, recorded solid gains for the full fiscal year, despite relatively weak sales in the second half. Meanwhile, sales in electric motors and batteries decreased, resulting in overall lower sales in this category.

MEW and PanaHome
Sales of MEW and PanaHome (MEW, PanaHome and their respective subsidiaries) totaled 1,497.6 billion yen ($14.00 billion).

Sales for JVC (Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. and its subsidiaries) totaled 717.8 billion yen ($6.71 billion), down 11% from 802.7 billion yen a year ago. Although sales in AV equipment increased in the Japanese domestic market, sales were down in the Americas and Europe, with sales of software also down from a year ago.

Sales for Other decreased 16% to 609.0 billion yen ($5.69 billion), from 721.4 billion yen a year ago. Although steady sales were recorded in factory automation (FA) equipment and industrial-use equipment, the reclassification of MEW products (those traditionally sold through the parent company) into a new product category (MEW and PanaHome) resulted in overall lower sales in this category.

Non-Consolidated (Parent Company Alone) Results
Parent-alone sales increased 2% to 4,145.7 billion yen, from 4,081.4 billion yen in the previous year. Strong sales of the company’s V-products, particularly digital AV products and home appliances contributed to overall sales gains.

Regarding parent-alone earnings, the increase in sales and various cost reduction initiatives resulted in a parent-alone operating profit of 88.4 billion yen, up 88% from 46.9 billion yen in fiscal 2004. Recurring profit increased 11% to 116.3 billion yen, compared with 105.2 billion yen in the previous year, mainly a result of an increase in dividend income, and increases in allowances for investment losses. The parent company recorded a non-recurring income of 20.3 billion yen related to the sale of securities, and a non-recurring loss of 34.9 billion yen in restructuring charges. These factors resulted in a parent-alone net income of 73.5 billion yen, up 23% from 59.4 billion yen for fiscal 2004.

Consolidated Financial Condition
Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2005 amounted to 478.4 billion yen ($4.47 billion), primarily attributable to improved net income, an increase in depreciation, and reduction of inventories. Net cash used in investing activities amounted to 178.3 billion yen ($1.67 billion), due mainly to capital expenditures for tangible fixed assets of 352.2 billion yen ($3.29 billion) in priority business areas such as plasma display panel (PDP) TVs and semiconductors, despite an increase in cash resulting from the consolidation of MEW and PanaHome. Net cash used in financing activities was 419.5 billion yen ($3.92 billion). Major factors included repurchase of the company’s common stock and repayments of long-term debt. All these activities resulted in cash and cash equivalents of 1,169.8 billion yen ($10.93 billion) at the end of fiscal 2005, whereby the company maintained a healthy cash balance.

The company’s consolidated total assets as of March 31, 2005 increased 618.9 billion yen to 8,056.9 billion yen ($75.30 billion), as compared to 7,438.0 billion yen at the end of the last fiscal year (March 31, 2004). The consolidation of MEW and PanaHome led to an increase in assets of 1,043.3 billion yen, while the company implemented initiatives to decrease assets, including reduction of inventories. Stockholders’ equity increased 92.7 billion yen, as compared with the end of fiscal 2004, to 3,544.3 billion yen ($33.12 billion). This increase was due to an increase in retained earnings and accumulated other comprehensive income, owing to the return to the Government of the substitutional portion of the EPF that resulted in a decrease in minimum pension liability adjustments, despite an increase in treasury stock on continued repurchases of the company’s own shares.

Proposed Year-end Dividend
Total dividends for fiscal 2005, including an interim dividend of 7.50 yen per common share paid in November 2004, are expected to be 15.00 yen per common share, as compared with 14.00 yen for fiscal 2004.

Outlook for Fiscal 2006
Regarding the business environment for the fiscal year 2006, ending March 31, 2006, the company currently expects to encounter severe conditions, such as everintensifying price declines and rising raw materials prices, including crude oil prices, as well as uncertainty regarding economic conditions in the United States, Europe and China. Under these circumstances, Matsushita views fiscal 2006 as critical to the success of its Leap Ahead 21 plan for the three-year period ending March 2007. Accordingly, Matsushita is making efforts to achieve the goals of the plan by enhancing product competitiveness and management structures. The company currently expects fiscal 2006 sales on a consolidated basis to total approximately 8,720 billion yen, mostly unchanged from the previous year. Consolidated operating profit is forecasted to increase by about 7% to approximately 330 billion yen. Consolidated income before income taxes5 is anticipated to increase to approximately 290 billion yen, up 17%, with net income expected to improve to about 110 billion yen, an increase of 88% from the previous fiscal year.

Similarly, on a parent company alone basis, Matsushita expects sales in fiscal 2006 to total 4,150 billion yen, approximately the same level as the previous year. Recurring profit is projected to increase by 16%, to approximately 135 billion yen, and net income is forecasted to increase 50% to approximately 110 billion yen.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand products, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Matsushita's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York, Euronext Amsterdam, and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information, please visit the following web sites:

Matsushita home page URL: http://panasonic.co.jp/global/
Matsushita IR web site URL: http://ir-site.panasonic.com/

Disclaimer Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934) about Matsushita and its Group companies (the Matsushita Group). To the extent that statements in this press release do not relate to historical or current facts, they constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of the Matsushita Group in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause the Matsushita Group's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Matsushita undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements after the date of this press release. Investors are advised to consult any further disclosures by Matsushita in its subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, economic conditions, particularly consumer spending and corporate capital expenditures in the United States, Europe, Japan, China and other Asian countries; volatility in demand for electronic equipment and components from business and industrial customers, as well as consumers in many product and geographical markets; currency rate fluctuations, notably between the yen, the U.S. dollar, the euro, Asian currencies and other currencies in which the Matsushita Group operates businesses, or in which assets and liabilities of the Matsushita Group are denominated; the ability of the Matsushita Group to respond to rapid technological changes and changing consumer preferences with timely and cost-effective introductions of new products in markets that are highly competitive in terms of both price and technology; the ability of the Matsushita Group to achieve its business objectives through joint ventures and other collaborative agreements with other companies; the ability of the Matsushita Group to maintain competitive strength in many product and geographical areas; current and potential, direct and indirect restrictions imposed by other countries over trade, manufacturing, labor and operations; fluctuations in market prices of securities and other assets in which the Matsushita Group has holdings; future changes or revisions to accounting policies or accounting rules; as well as natural disasters including earthquakes and other events that may negatively impact business activities of the Matsushita Group.

1 On April 1, 2004, Matsushita acquired a controlling interest in MEW. As a result, MEW, PanaHome and their respective subsidiaries became consolidated subsidiaries of the company. Fiscal 2005 consolidated results include the results of these subsidiaries on a full consolidated basis. For more information, see Notes 5 and 10 of Notes to consolidated financial statements on pages 13 to 15.

2 Sales on a local currency basis is not a measure conforming with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP). However, the company believes that this measure is useful to investors in promoting understanding of the company's business conditions by excluding the influence of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

3 For information about operating profit, see Note 2 of Notes to consolidated financial statements on page 13.

4 For information about the transfer of the substitutional portion of the EPF to the Government, see Note 6 of Notes to consolidated financial statements on pages 13 and 14.

5 Factors affecting the forecast for other income (deductions) of 40 billion yen (the difference between operating profit and income before income taxes) include business restructuring charges of 35 billion yen and other expenses of 5 billion yen.

(First posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 at 22:36 EDT)

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