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Retail Sales Rebound at Berkshire Hathaway

May 02, 2021

RAPAPORT... Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Borsheims, Helzberg Diamonds and Ben Bridge Jeweler, saw retail sales jump in the first quarter as the market bounced back from last year’s downturn.

Revenue in the retail segment rose 21% year on year to $4.35 billion, according to Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, which does not break down figures for its jewelry brands. Pretax earnings for the retail division more than doubled to $348 million from $133 a year earlier, the company said Saturday.

“Operating results of nearly all of our retailing businesses were severely impacted by the pandemic beginning in March of 2020 and continuing through the second quarter of 2020,” the group explained in its quarterly report. “Over the second half of 2020 and continuing through the first quarter of 2021, revenues and pretax earnings of these businesses increased, and in certain instances to levels exceeding those in pre-pandemic periods, despite ongoing supply-chain disruptions.”

Revenue from the manufacture of consumer products — including through jewelry supplier Richline Group — jumped 28% to $3.61 billion. Pretax earnings rose to $524 million from $238 million a year before.

Image: A Helzberg Diamonds store in the Millenia Mall, Orlando, Florida. (Shutterstock)

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