Dutch consumer electronic and health technology giant Royal Dutch Philips has reported a fourth quarter loss of €1.47bn (£1.4bn) and will cut 6,000 jobs.

The global financial crisis put substantial pressure on the results of nearly all of Philips’ divisions. The exception was the Health Care division, which reported a 9% growth in sales to €2.57 billion for the quarter.

Philip’s chief executive Gerard Kleisterlee said the results reflected the unprecedented "speed and ferocity with which the economy softened in 2008". Philips expects a further deterioration of the market situation in the first few months of this year.

Kleisterlee warned that the mood in the real economy would remain downbeat for some time, with 2009 being "very challenging".

He said 2009 would be a year of restructuring for much of the European industry. " At Philips we want to be proactive and early in taking measures," he added.

Announcing the 6,000 job losses Kleisterlee said it would be on the lookout for the "opportunities" that would arise, but said he would do nothing to "stretch the company in these challenging times".

In December Philips cut sales targets for its lighting, health care and consumer electronics divisions.