Insurance to drag on Berkshire Q1 results
OMAHA, Nebraska, May 1 — Berkshire Hathaway Inc will report a significantly lower first-quarter profit, as one of the worst quarters ever for global catastrophes weighed on the company’s insurance businesses, chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett said yesterday.
Profit is expected to be about US$1.5 billion (RM4.4 billion), down from US$3.63 billion a year earlier, Buffett said at Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Year-earlier profit totalled US$2,272 per Class A share.
Buffett also projected that for the first time in nine years, Berkshire would likely have a full-year loss from insurance underwriting. Insurance comprises close to half of Berkshire’s operations.
Buffett said the company lost US$821 million from insurance underwriting in the first quarter, and had an estimated US$1.67 billion of pretax losses from catastrophes.
He said the quarter was the second worst for the insurance industry in terms of global catastrophes, which included earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand. — Reuters