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Berkshire’s insurance arm returns to profit

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Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance business turned around in the second quarter, recording a net underwriting profit of $US943 million ($1.28 billion) after a $US22 million ($29.8 million) loss in the corresponding period last year.

Its US car insurer Geico led the way, with pre-tax underwriting profit more than quadrupling to $US673 million ($910 million).

Motor premium written grew 13.3% to $US8.24 billion ($11.1 billion), supported by voluntary motor policy inforce growth of 4.9% and higher premium per policy of 8.7% over the past year.

Pre-tax earnings from Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group returned to the black at $US297 million ($401.7 million), compared with a $US375 million ($507.2 million) loss in the corresponding period last year.

Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group, which provides commercial insurance, increased pre-tax earnings to $US234 million ($316.5 million) from $US232 million ($313.8 million).

Berkshire’s group-wide net income nearly tripled to $US12.01 billion ($16.2 billion).