The property and casualty insurance company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday the profit amounted to $7.12 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a loss of $2.6 million or 76 cents per share a year ago.
Net earned premiums totalled $1.46 billion, up from $1.34 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
"We had a strong underwriting result in the first quarter of 2013 on increased premiums while maintaining disciplined underwriting," chairman and chief executive Prem Watsa said in a statement.
"We are maintaining our defensive equity hedges as we remain concerned about the financial markets and the economic outlook."
During the quarter, the company earned $9.4 million on its investments compared with a loss of $40.9 million a year ago.
Shares in the company, which reported its results after the end of trading Thursday, closed up $5.69 at $408.49.