Samsung is the latest consumer electronics company to report a significant loss in fourth quarter sales over 2008.

Samsung has reported its first ever quarterly loss of roughly $14.4 million due to a decrease in demand for appliances, memory chips and flat panel televisions.

Contrast this result to the $1.5 billion profit for the same period last year and third quarter earnings of $863 million, and it is truly evident that the economic slowdown is in full force for the consumer electronic market.

“The global economic slowdown had an adverse effect on consumer purchases of electronics goods in the fourth quarter, traditionally a strong period for electronics companies,” the company said in a release.

The company is still the second largest mobile phone distributor in the world according to results released last week, and the period proved successful in this division.

Samsung shipped out 52.8 million handsets over the fourth quarter, which is a rise of 14 per cent over the same period last year. Not too mention shipping just under 200 million handsets over the course of the year.

But Samsung, like many other companies are expecting the handset market to decline 5% to 10%, and it expects the first quarter to be especially hard hit.

In order to maintain composure in the declining economy Samsung announced recently the reorganisation of its four divisions into two major divisions.

Instead of separate divisions for memory chips, LCD’s, mobile phones and consumer electronics, they will now run only a digital media and communications division and a device solution division.