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

FILE - In this May 6, 2013 file photo, Warren Buffett, Chairman, President & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, gestures during an interview with Liz Claman of the Fox Business Network, in Omaha, Neb. Berkshire Hathaway reports quarterly earnings on Friday, May 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

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FILE - In this May 6, 2013 file photo, Warren Buffett, Chairman, President & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, gestures during an interview with Liz Claman of the Fox Business Network, in Omaha, Neb. Berkshire Hathaway reports quarterly earnings on Friday, May 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

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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