Malaysian state car maker Proton Holdings has reported a fourth straight loss for its fourth quarter and warned of difficult times ahead.

It reported a net loss of 913,000 ringgit ($US268,600) for the fiscal fourth quarter ended 31 March, compared with a profit of 126.9m ringgit a year earlier, according to Reuters.

Industry analysts had forecast a small fourth-quarter profit of 11m ringgit, according to Reuters Estimates.

The report added that fourth quarter revenue fell 29% to 1.27 bn ringgit from a year ago while Proton posted a full-year net loss of 591m ringgit, compared with a profit of 47m ringgit the previous year.

According to Reuters, Proton said low trade-in values for used cars and stringent car loan approvals were expected to depress vehicle sales, though its own sales would improve this year when it introduces new models in the third quarter.

“The board expects the trading conditions for the group to remain challenging due to higher cost of components as experienced by the industry and margins will come under pressure from the intense competition,” Proton reportedly said in a statement.