Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment vehicle run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Friday said second-quarter profit rose as a decline in insurance losses helped offset a drop in underwriting.
Quarterly profit was $1.45 billion, or $941 per share, up from $1.28 billion, or $834 per share, during the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $18.12 billion from $18 billion.
The Omaha-based company reported insurance premium revenue fell to $5.2 billion from $5.48 billion during the year-ago period. Earnings from its insurance underwriting fell to $376 million from $422 million during the previous period, while investment income from its insurance business rose to $585 million from $479 million.
Meanwhile, insurance losses fell to $3.47 billion from $3.7 billion.
The company's non-insurance business reported earnings of $576 million, up from $508 million last year.
Berkshire's results included losses of $160 million from its investments in the latest quarter, compared with losses of $172 million the year before.
Included in the investment losses for the latest quarter is a pretax loss of $619 million from taking a short position on the dollar, essentially betting on a decline in the U.S. currency. During the first six months of this year, the value dollar rose ageist most foreign currencies.
Berkshire said it had losses on the short position of $926 million for the first six months of 2005, but that since it began shorting the dollar in 2002, it has recognized pretax gains of $2.03 billion "from forward currency contracts and has received $2.1 billion from counterparties in cash."