Amazon founder Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest person on Thursday (27th July) as shares in the e-commerce giant rose ahead of the release of its second quarter results.
Bezos, the company’s chief executive, briefly overtook Bill Gates as the world’s richest person after his fortune rose to $91bn (£69bn) ahead of Gates’ $90bn wealth, based on a real-time billionaire’s index compiled by Forbes, which calculates riches based on the share prices of their respective companies.
But as the results were announced the firm's share prize fell back and Gates reclaimed his position on the top spot, albeit with just $1bn separating the two.
The company’s second quarter results released last night (27th July), revealed that sales rose by 25% in the three months to the end of June to $38bn, but profits slumped by 77% to $197m (£151m).
The e-commerce giant’s profits took a hit while the company spends money on investing in global expansion and new products and services. Amazon has recently been pushing into new markets such as India and has announced plans to hire thousands of staff, including in research and development in its new headquarters in London, along with the production of new films and new television shows. The company has been steadily opening brick and mortar bookshops in the US and has also unveiled new versions of its tablet and home robot.
Sales of subscription services at Amazon, including the Prime membership but also audiobooks and e-book subscriptions, totalled $2.165 billion in the second quarter, up from $1.939 billion in the first quarter.
Overseas retail sales rose 17%, but they increased by a greater 27% in North America, the firm's biggest market.
In UK in the last three months Amazon announced plans to open a new Development Centre site in Cambridge this autumn and said it would create 1,200 new permanent jobs in Warrington later this year. It is on track to reach 24,000 permanent employees across the UK by the end of the year, the company said.
It celebrated the opening of its new UK head office on Wednesday (26th July).