Page last updated at 22:12 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 23:12 UK

Buffett's firm returns to profit

Warren Buffett
Mr Buffett's firm made a loss in the first quarter

Celebrated US financier Warren Buffett's investment firm has reported a jump in profits after making a loss in the first three months of the year.

Between April and June, Berkshire Hathaway made a profit of $3.3bn (£2bn), up 15% on the $2.88bn it made in the same period a year ago.

In the first quarter, the company made a loss of $1.53bn.

The dramatic turnaround in fortunes was due to rising stock markets boosting the value of its investments.

Successful bets on derivative contracts - complex financial instruments such as futures and options - were an important factor in boosting profits.

Revenues fell slightly to $29.61bn.

The firm's loss in the first quarter - its first in eight years - was in part due to badly-timed purchases of oil stocks.

In April, ratings agency Moody's downgraded Berkshire's credit rating, from Aaa, the highest, to Aa2, meaning it thinks the company is less likely to pay back debt.

Dubbed the "Sage of Omaha", billionaire Mr Buffett is widely celebrated for his investment acumen.

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