Warren Buffett on Saturday used his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to launch vigorous defenses of an aggressive private equity partner and a maligned mobile home unit, as his conglomerate recorded robust profits.
The world's third-richest person and a revered investor, Buffett also injected himself into the contentious 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, lambasting candidates who talk down the nation's economic future as "dead wrong" - an apparent jab at Republicans and frontrunner Donald Trump.
Buffett, who is backing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, also raised a political issue dear to Democrats in his widely-read letter by calling climate change a "major problem for the planet," although not one for Berkshire's future.
Buffett, 85, also made no mention of who might succeed him at Berkshire, which he has run for a half-century, and in passing said he expects to be around at age 100.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company reported a record full-year profit of $24.08 billion, up 21 percent, while operating profit rose 5 percent to a record $17.36 billion.
Fourth quarter profit was up 32 percent, and operating profit rose a larger-than-expected 18 percent.
Berkshire owns roughly 90 businesses in areas as insurance, railroads, energy, food, apparel and real estate. Buffett himself is worth $62.1 billion, Forbes magazine reported.
But he has critics, and spent about 10 percent of his roughly 18,000-word letter defending 3G Capital, a Brazilian firm in which Berkshire owns 51 percent of Kraft Heinz, and Berkshire's Clayton Homes mobile home unit.
Many shareholders questioned Buffett's compatibility with 3G, an aggressive cost cutter led by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann.
Berkshire and 3G teamed up in 2013 to buy H.J. Heinz and last year merged it with Kraft Foods. Buffett also helped finance 3G's merger of Burger King with Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons, creating Restaurant Brands International. Following these mergers, 3G slashed thousands of jobs.
Buffett acknowledged that while he and 3G "follow different paths" in running businesses, 3G has been "extraordinarily successful," and more ventures are possible.
"Jorge Paulo and his associates could not be better partners," Buffett wrote.