July 26, 2012 / 9:16 PM / in 5 years

Fairfax Financial profit rises 14 pct on underwriting

TORONTO, July 26 (Reuters) - Fairfax Financial, the Canadian property and casualty insurer run by investor Prem Watsa, said on Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 14 percent on stronger underwriting results and lower losses on repurchases of long-term debt.

The Toronto-based company said it earned $95.0 million, or $3.85 a share, in the second quarter, up from $83.3 million, or $3.40, a year earlier.

Since taking over the company in 1985, Watsa has built a reputation as a shrewd contrarian investor by moves such as betting against the U.S. housing market in the last decade and reaping billions when the market collapsed.

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