Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sees profits jump

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway has reported a sharp rise in profits thanks in part to strong returns on derivative contracts.

Net profits for the second quarter were $3.4bn (£2.1bn), a rise of 74% on the $2bn the company made a year earlier. Revenue grew to $38.3bn.

The profits on derivatives helped offset insurance losses.

Mr Buffett is the world’s third richest man, with an estimated fortune of about $50bn, according to Forbes.

Berkshire Hathaway has sustained losses at its insurance businesses this year owing to the natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand.