Berkshire Hathaway Profit Up Thanks to Hardened Market

May 13, 2003

Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. nearly doubled the profit of the first quarter of 2002, thanks to the hardened insurance market.

Berkshire reported a net profit of $1.73 billion, or $1,127 a share, compared to $916 million, or $598 a share, a year ago.

Berkshire’s insurance and reinsurance operations led to the record profit result, a change from the last few years of the soft market which saw heavy underwriting losses.

Buffett told shareholders last weekend that the General Re unit has finally returned to profitability after years of claims losses as well as losses related to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The insurance operations posted a pre-tax $1.1 billion profit, compared to $736 million a year ago.

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