1971年巴菲特致股东的信

2012-05-03 09:53阅读:
翻译:刘丽媛 校对:Catherine
To the Stockholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.:
It is a pleasure to report that operating earnings in 1971,excluding capital gains,amounted to more than 14%of beginning shareholders'equity.This result—considerably above the average of American industry—was achieved in the face of
inadequate earnings in our textile operation,making clear the benefits of redeployment of capital inaugurated five years ago.It will continue to be the objective of management to improve return on total capitalization(long term debt plus equity),as well as the return on equity capital.However,it should be realized that merely maintaining the present relatively high rate of return may well prove more difficult than was improvement from the very low levels of return which prevailed throughout most of the 1960's.
致伯克希尔哈撒韦的全体股东:
很高兴告诉大家,1971年我们的营业收入(除去资本收益)超过了初始股东权益的14%,这个结果大大高于市场平均值,虽然纺织产业仍然收入不足,但5年前资本重新调配的好处却愈加明显。
接下来管理层的目标将仍然是提高总资产(包括长期债务和权益)的回报
率以及股本回报率。但我们也要明白,维持当前较高的回报率要比提高60年代以来持续走低的回报率难得多。
Textile Operations
We,in common with most of the textile industry,continued to struggle throughout 1971 with inadequate gross margins.Strong efforts to hammer down costs and a continuous search for less price-sensitive fabrics produced only marginal profits. However,without these efforts we would have operated substantially in the red. Employment was more stable throughout the year as our program to improve control of inventories achieved reasonable success.
纺织业
和大多数的纺织业一样,不足的毛利润使得1971年对我们是很艰难的一年。试图减少成本的不懈努力和对弱价格敏感性纤维物的研究只带来了很小的利润。但如果没有这些努力的话,我们就会面临巨额赤字。控制库存量的计划取得了一定的成果,这一年的职工流动也比较稳定。
As mentioned last year,Ken Chace and his management group have been swimming against a strong industry tide.This negative environment has only caused them to intensify their efforts.Currently we are witnessing a mild industry pickup which. We intend to maximize with our greatly strengthened sales force.With the improvement now seen in volume and mix of business,we would expect better profitability—although not of a dramatic nature—from our textile operation in 1972.
我去年也提到过,KenChace 和他率领的管理层一直在和不利的市场大环境做抗争,当前的形势只会让他们更加努力。目前已经有了一些起色,我们打算扩大通我们强大的销售队伍,推动这一势头的发展。鉴于现在业务组合和规模方面的改善,我们可以预期1972年纺织业会带来更好的收益(虽然不会是大幅的上升)。
Insurance Operations
An unusual combination of factors reduced auto accident frequency,sharply higher effective rates in large volume lines,and the absence of major catastrophes produced an extraordinarily good year for the property and casualty insurance industry.We shared in these benefits,although they are not without their negative connotations.Our traditional business—and still our largest segment—is
in the specialized policy or non-standard insured.When standard markets become
tight because of unprofitable industry underwriting,we experience substantial volume increases as producers look to us.This was the condition several years ago,and largely accounts for the surge of direct volume experienced in 1970 and 1971.
保险业经营情况
汽车事故频率的降低,以及没有发生大的灾难性事件使得过去的一年对财产险和意外险部门来说回报很丰厚。我们受益颇多,虽然也不是没有负面的影响。
我们的传统主业——也仍是最大的业务部分——集中在专业化政策或者非标准的被保人方面。当标准化的保险市场正由于缺少利润变得紧张的时候,我们的产业规模却有了显著的增长,因为投保者都来找我们。这种状况几年前就出现了,它也是我们1970-71年间规模得以扩大的主要原因。
Now that underwriting has turned very profitable on an industry-wide basis,more companies are seeking the insureds they were rejecting a short while back and rates are being cut in some areas.We continue to have underwriting profitability as our primary goal and this may well mean a substantial decrease in National Indemnity's direct volume during 1972.Jack Ringwalt and Phil Liesche continue to guide this operation in a manner matched by very few in the business.Our reinsurance business,which has been developed to a substantial operation in just two years by the outstanding efforts of George Young,faces much the same situation.We entered the reinsurance business late in 1969 at a time when rates had risen substantially and capacity was tight.The reinsurance industry was exceptionally profitable in 1971,and we are now seeing rate-cutting as well as the formation of well-capitalized aggressive new competitors.These lower rates are frequently accompanied by greater exposure.Against this background we expect to see our business curtailed somewhat in 1972.We set no volume goals in our insurance business generally—and certainly not in reinsurance—as virtually any volume can be achieved if profitability standards are ignored.When catastrophes occur and underwriting experience sours,we plan to have the resources available to handle the increasing volume which we will then expect to be available at proper prices.
既然承保现在在整个行业范围内都变得有利可图,越来越多的公司开始寻找他们不久之前还拒之门外的投保人,某些领域的保费率已被调低。我们将继续把获利当做首要目标,这可能会导致国家保险业今年直接业务量的大幅下跌。Jack Ringwalt和Phil Liesche将继续负责这一领域的工作,他们的工作方式行业内很少有人能比得上。
至于再保险业务,虽然在George Young杰出的才能带领下在短短两年里已经发展到了一定的规模,但是也面临着同样的境况。我们是在1969年末进入再保险行业的,那时保费率刚经历了大幅的上升。去年再保险业获得了丰厚的利润,现在却面临着利率下降以及强大的竞争对手的出现的威胁。
利率的下降通常会伴随着更大范围的公共宣传。在这样一个背景下,我们预计今年的业务规模会有所缩减。我们没有给保险及再保险业设置具体的业务量目标,因为如果把获利标准都忽略掉的话,就不会有任何的业务量。如果出现大的灾难,需要付出高额承保费时,那时我们将会动用所有可利用的资源来管理不断增长的业务量,交易的价格也将会变得更合理。
We inaugurated our'home-state'insurance operation in 1970 by the formation of Cornhusker Casualty Company.To date,this has worked well from both a marketing and an underwriting standpoint.We have therefore further developed this approach by the formation of Lakeland Fire&Casualty Company in Minnesota during 1971,and Texas United Insurance in 1972.Each of these companies will devote its entire efforts to a single state seeking to bring the agents and insureds of its area a combination of large company capability and small company accessibility and sensitivity.John Ringwalt has been in overall charge of this operation since inception.Combining hard work with imagination and intelligence,he has transformed an idea into a well organized business.The'home-state'companies are still very small,accounting for a little over$1.5 million in premium volume during 1971.It looks as though this volume will more than double in 1972 and we will develop a more creditable base upon which to evaluate underwriting performance.
在1970年我们成立了内布拉斯加州意外伤害保险公司,开始开展“本土”保险业务。目前为止,无论是从市场还是承保情况来看,它都发展的不错。因此我们分别又在去年和今年成立了明尼苏达州的Lakeland火险和意外伤害保险公司和联合甲板保险. 每个公司都会致力于某个特定州内的工作,让代理商和被保人同时享受到大企业的能力和小公司可接近性、敏感性的好处。
John Ringwalt从一开始就全权负责这项工作,凭着努力、创新和智慧,他把一个设想很好的转变成了一项业务。“本土”保险公司的规模仍比较小,去年总的保费额才刚过150万美元。预计今年业绩可以翻番。我们也会开发一个更为可靠的基准来评估保险业的业绩。
A highlight of 1971 was the acquisition of Home&Automobile Insurance Company, located in Chicago.This company was built by Victor Raab from a small initial investment into a major auto insurer in Cook County,writing about$7.5 million in premium volume during 1971.Vic is cut from the same cloth as Jack Ringwalt and Gene Abegg,with a talent for operating profitably accompanied by enthusiasm for his business.These three men have built their companies from scratch and,after selling their ownership position for cash,retain every bit of the proprietary interest and pride that they have always had.
去年的成就之一是收购了位于芝加哥的家庭及汽车保险公司。该公司由Victor Raab创立,从小量的初始投资发展到库克郡主要的汽车保险公司,去年的保费总额高达750万美元。Victor跟Jack Ringwalt 和Gene Abegg一样,都具有对事业的热情,以及盈利的天分。这三位都是白手起家,即使是在卖掉对公司的所有权之后,仍然享有身为业主的利益和骄傲。
While Vic has multiplied the original equity of Home&Auto many times since its founding,his ideas and talents have always been circumscribed by his capital base.We have added capital funds to the company,which will enable it to establish branch operations extending its highly-concentrated and on-the-spot marketing and claims approach to other densely populated areas.
虽然Victor自创建公司以来已使其原始资产翻了很多倍,但他的天分和才能也只能在他所拥有的资本数额范围内施展。我们给公司注入了资金,帮助它建立分公司,把高度集中的、本地的市场和业务拓展到其它人口密集地区。
All in all,it is questionable whether volume added by Home&Auto,plus the 'home-state'business in 1972,will offset possible declines in direct and reinsurance business of National Indemnity Company.However,our large volume gains in 1970 and 1971 brought in additional funds for investment at a time of high interest rates,which will be of continuing benefit in future years.Thus,
despite the unimpressive prospects regarding premium volume,the outlook for investment income and overall earnings from insurance in 1972 is reasonably good.
总的来说,我们也无法确定家庭及汽车保险公司的收购和“本土”业务的开展能否抵消国家保险公司在保险和再保险业务方面可能出现的业绩下滑。但是,过去两年较高的收入使我们在当前的高利率时期也有额外的投资资金。这肯定会带来持续性的收益。因此,虽然在保费方面前景不太乐观,但我对今年保险业的投资收益和整体利润还是相当看好的。
Banking Operations
Our banking subsidiary,The Illinois National Bank&Trust Company,continued to lead its industry as measured by earnings as a percentage of deposits.In 1971, Illinois National earned well over 2�ter tax on average deposits while(1)not using borrowed funds except for very occasional reserve balancing transactions;(2)maintaining a liquidity position far above average;(3)recording loan losses far below average;and(4)utilizing a mix of over 50%time deposits with all consumer savings accounts receiving maximum permitted interest rates throughout the year.This reflects a superb management job by Gene Abegg and Bob Kline.
银行业经营情况
我们的子公司伊利诺斯国家银行,不管在存款额还是在盈利方面都处于行业领先地位。去年,该公司在存款业务上税后平均盈利超过2%,并且还同时做到了以下几点:除了个别情况利用准备金平衡交易外没有利用借入资金;流动资金头寸远远高于市场平均水平;不良贷款远低于市场水平;利用一半以上的定期存款账户和所有的消费者储蓄账户,全年利率达到所允许的最高值。这反映出了Gene Abegg and Bob Kline杰出的管理才能。
Interest rates received on loans and investments were down substantiallythroughout the banking industry during 1971.In the last few years, Illinois National's mix of deposits has moved considerably more than the industry average away from demand money to much more expensive time money.For example,interest paid on deposits has gone from under$1.7 million in 1969 to over$2.7 million in 1971.Nevertheless,the unusual profitability of the Bank has been maintained. Marketing efforts were intensified during the year, with excellent results.
去年银行通过贷款和投资获得的利息收入有了明显的下降。过去几年间,该银行的储蓄业务已逐步从活期存款转向更为昂贵的定期,这是不同于市场一般状况的。例如,存款支付的利息1969年不足170万美元,1971年则超过270万美元。但银行还是保持住了不一般的盈利水平。过去这一年,市场方面的努力得到了加强,并取得了很好的成效。
With interest rates even lower now than in 1971,the banking industry is going to have trouble achieving gains in earnings during 1972.Our deposit gains at Illinois National continue to come in the time money area,which produces only very marginal incremental income at present.It will take very close cost control to enable Illinois National to maintain its 1971 level of earnings during 1972.
鉴于目前的利率要低于去年,今年银行业要盈利将会面临很多困难。伊利诺斯国家银行的储蓄仍将主要来自于定期存款,但只能带来很少的增值收入。要想维持其去年的盈利水平,就要采取非常严格的成本控制措施。
Financial
Because of the volume gains being experienced by our insurance subsidiaries early in 1971,we re-cast Berkshire Hathaway's bank loan so as to provide those companies with additional capital funds. This financing turned out to be particularly propitious when the opportunity to purchase Home&Auto occurred later in the year.Our insurance and banking subsidiaries possess a fiduciary relationship with the public.We retain a fundamental belief in operating from a very strongly financed position so as to be in a position to unquestionably fulfill our responsibilities.Thus,we will continue to map our financial future for maximum financial strength in our subsidiaries as well as at the parent company level.
金融业务
由于保险行业子公司去年初的业绩增长,我们重新调整了伯克希尔哈撒韦的银行贷款,以便给它们提供额外的资金。此措施在收购家庭及汽车保险公司的机会出现的时候被证明是明智的。我们保险业和银行业的公司和社会公众有着相互信赖的关系。
我们秉持一个根本的信念,就是只有拥有足够强大的财力,才有能力践行相应的社会责任。因此,今后我们将继续致力于经济实力的最大化,不管是在子公司还是总部。
Warren E.Buffett
Chairman of the Board
March 13,1972
沃伦·E·巴菲特
董事会主席
1972.3.13