Retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc reported a sharply lower quarterly profit on Tuesday as the recession and slumping housing market curbed sales of its home goods and said it could post a loss for the current year.

The company, which operates Pottery Barn and West Elm stores in addition to its namesake chain, said net earnings tumbled to $12.2 million, or 12 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $124.6 million, or $1.15 per share, a year ago.

Excluding an asset impairment charge and costs associated with closing stores and cutting jobs, profit was 31 cents per share.

Net revenue fell nearly 27 percent to $1.01 billion, as sales at stores open at least a year dropped 22.3 percent.

Williams-Sonoma said it expects losses for the first three quarters of 2009, with a profit in the fourth quarter, which includes the key holiday shopping period.

For the full year, the company forecast results to range from a loss of 15 cents per share to a profit of 5 cents per share.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)