Berkshire profit up 32%, record year for billionaire Warren Buffett

NEW YORK: Berkshire Hathaway Inc, the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, said fourth-quarter profit climbed 32% on investments and earnings from the company?s expanding stable of operating businesses.

Net income rose to US$5.48bil, or US$3,333 a share, from US$4.16bil, or US$2,529, a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were US$2,843 a share, beating the average US$2,814 estimate of three analysts surveyed by?Bloomberg.

The results cap another record year for Buffett, Berkshire?s chairman and chief executive officer. Over the past five decades, he has built the Omaha, Nebraska-based company into a sprawling enterprise with a stock portfolio valued at more than US$110bil and interests in insurance, energy, manufacturing, media, retail and transportation.

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