Investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, owned by US star investor Warren Buffett, only kept operating profit flat at the start of the year due to larger burdens in parts of the insurance business. Rising claims at primary insurer Geico are weighing on results in the region, Berkshire Hathaway announced yesterday in Omaha. Operating profit in the first quarter remained healthy at $7 billion (€6.7 billion) over the previous year.
In contrast, reinsurance and rail freight company BNSF as well as manufacturing and retail businesses were better than they were a year ago. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway’s net income has halved to $5.5 billion. However, fluctuating unrealized book profits and losses of several shareholders are also shown here. Therefore, the informative value with respect to the course of business is limited. Buffett advises not to pay too much attention to the scale. Berkshire Hathaway owns several companies. There are also blocks of stock in companies like Apple and Coca-Cola.
Berkshire’s cash holdings are down. However, it has grown well in recent years as Buffett has struggled to find acquisition targets in light of the company’s high valuations.