General Electric announced Friday its fourth quarter profit fell 44 percent and said it expects 2009 to be a extremely difficult year.

The giant conglomerate which makes everything from refrigerators to jet engines said its profit was $3.72 billion, or 35 cents per diluted share, compared with $6.7 billion, or 66 cents per diluted share, a year earlier, GE said in a statement.

Fourth quarter revenue was $46.2 billion, or 5 percent down from the fourth quarter of 2007.

We expect 2009 to be extremely difficult, Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE said in a statement, However, we have taken strong actions to prepare the Company, Immelt noted.

GE has been affected by the economic crisis, mainly its Capital finance arm which has been restructuring. Shares of the company dropped about 60 percent over 2008, erasing about $200 billion in market capital, according to Reuters.