Warren Buffett reflects on 50 years of running Berkshire Hathaway and his hopes for the future

Investor Warren Buffett says his company delivered another strong year, with $19.9 billion in profits, and he believes Berkshire Hathaway will continue thriving thanks to its collection of "remarkable businesses" and investments.

Buffett's annual letter to shareholders was posted online Saturday. This year he reflected on 50 years of leading Berkshire and its future.

Buffett reiterated that Berkshire's huge size will keep it from achieving gains nearly as strong as in the past. And he defended Berkshire's decentralized structure as the ideal way to combat bureaucracy and maximize gains.

The 84-year-old investor didn't name his eventual successor, but he did discuss qualities that person will need.

The letter is one of the best-read reports in the business world because of Buffett's track record and his knack for explaining complicated issues.