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Berkshire Hathaway 1st quarter net income down 3.8% over same time in 2013


First quarter net income at Berkshire Hathaway declined 3.8% to $4.71 billion, as a drop in profits at its Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group, among other things, weighed on results, Berkshire reported.

Revenues at the Omaha, Nebraska-based business increased 3.5% to $33.96 billion for the three months ended March 31. Net investment income for the company’s insurance operations slid 9.9% to $720 million for the quarter, Berkshire said Friday.

The company had a net underwriting gain of $461.0 million in the first quarter of 2014, down 48.8%, led by a large drop in underwriting gain at Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group, to $183.0 million from $974.0 million in the year-ago period. The company’s General Reinsurance Corp. unit saw underwriting gain drop 15.8% to $80.0 million for the quarter.

Premiums earned at Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group dropped 27.7% to $2.02 billion, led by a 39.6% decline in life and annuity premiums to $593.0 million. Pre-tax underwriting gain for life and annuity swung to a loss of $55.0 million for the quarter from a gain of $313.0 million in the year-ago period. The company said in its quarterly filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that in first quarter 2013, underwriting results included a one-time pre-tax gain of $255 million. The unit was also hampered by a 22.2% decline in other multi-line property/casualty premiums earned to $1.03 billion

Berkshire’s other property/casualty insurance units fared better. First quarter aggregate premiums at Berkshire Primary grew 33.7% to $953.0 million while underwriting gain jumped 83.3% to $99.0 million for the first quarter. Berkshire’s personal automobile insurer GEICO unit saw premiums earned rise 11.0% to $4.88 billion while underwriting gain jumped 32.7% to $353.0 million.