Buffett Says NetJets ’Dipped Far into the Red’

 - January 8, 2007, 11:23 AM

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, in his latest annual letter to shareholders issued Saturday, said the company’s flight services division–FlightSafety and NetJets–reported $120 million in pre-tax earnings versus $191 million in 2004. According to Buffett, “Earnings improved at FlightSafety as corporate aviation continued its rebound…[but] operating results at NetJets were a different story. I said last year that [NetJets] would earn money in 2005–and I was dead wrong. Our European operation…showed both excellent growth and a reduced loss…however, our U.S. operation dipped far into the red.” Buffett also addressed management succession at Berkshire: “We have three managers at Berkshire who are reasonably young and fully capable of being CEO. Berkshire’s board has fully discussed each of the three CEO candidates and has unanimously agreed on…who should succeed me if a replacement were needed today.” An October 2000 Wall Street Journal article identified NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli as being one of the three CEO candidates.