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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate reports 4 per cent decline in 1Q profit

OMAHA, Neb. - Warren Buffett's company says its first-quarter profit slipped nearly 4 per cent largely because of an accounting charge in its insurance units.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. earned $4.71 billion, or $2,862 per Class A share, during the first three months of 2014. That's down from $4.89 billion, or $2,977 per Class A share, a year earlier.

Berkshire's revenue increased nearly 4 per cent to $45.45 billion from $43.87 billion in the same period last year.

Berkshire says its insurance underwriting profits fell to $461 million from $901 million a year earlier because of a deferred charge related to some retroactive insurance policies.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend Berkshire's shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.

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