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Berkshire Hathaway retail revenue climbs 18% in third quarter

OMAHA, Neb. — Berkshire Hathaway reported that revenues from its retail group were up 18.1% in the third quarter to $944 million, which the company attributed partly to "improved comparative results of the home furnishings and jewelry business groups."

The figure also was boosted by the inclusion of a full quarter of sales from Oriental Trading Company, an online retailer of party and school supplies and toys that Berkshire acquired on Nov. 27, 2012.

Berkshire's furnishings businesses include Omaha-based Nebraska Furniture Mart, Salt Lake City-based R.C. Willey, Houston-based Star Furniture and Jordan's, based in Avon, Mass. The company's quarterly report did not break out results of the furniture stores.

Pre-tax earnings for the retail group were reported at $48 million in the quarter, up 33.3% from $36 million in the comparable 2012 period.

For the year to date, retail group revenues were $2.9 billion, up 17.2% from $2.5 billion a year earlier. Pre-tax earnings of $197 million were up 29.6% from $152 million a year ago.

For Berkshire Hathaway corporate, net profit in the quarter was $5.05 billion, up 28.9% from the 2012 third quarter, largely on investment gains and a 7.7% gain in operating earnings.

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