Buffett says his firm had subpar 2012 that trailed the market as he failed to land a big deal

OMAHA, Neb. – Investor Warren Buffett says last year was “subpar” for his company even after posting a 45 per cent increase in profit, because the value of Berkshire Hathaway trailed the overall market.

Buffett said Friday that 2012 was only the ninth time in the past 48 years that Berkshire’s book value per share failed to outpace the S&P 500.

The legendary investor also confessed that the two investment managers he hired over the last few years left Buffett in their dust.

Berkshire’s net income soared in 2012 to $14.8 billion, up from $10.3 billion the previous year, but most of the increase came from paper gains on its investments and derivative contracts.

Without the paper gains, Berkshire’s operating earnings advanced 17 per cent to $12.6 billion, up from the previous year’s $10.8 billion.