Rising share price briefly turns Bezos into world's richest man

WE all dream of becoming the wealthiest person in the world.

Jeff Bezos (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

And for just a few hours, businessman Jeff Bezos achieved that ambition.

Amazon has reported a sales increase of 25 per cent for the second quarter of 2017, on the day founder Mr Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man.

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Net sales for the last three months were 38 billion US dollars (£29 billion), compared with 30.4 billion US dollars (£23.2 billion) for the same period last year.

Earlier, anticipation of good results for the online retail giant fuelled a share price rise.

This rise briefly pushed Mr Bezos’ wealth to 91 billion US dollars (£69.6 billion) - ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates on the Bloomberg rich list. However, prices fell back and Mr Bezos ended the day in the number two spot he started in.

With regards to the latest results, the chief executive praised the company’s growing hardware portfolio - which includes the Amazon Echo smart speaker.

“Our teams remain heads-down and focused on customers,” Mr Bezos said.

“In the last few months, we launched Echo Show - our newest Echo device with a video screen - introduced calling and messaging via Alexa on all Echo devices, launched four new Fire tablets, and held our third annual Prime Day - signing up more Prime members than ever before.

“We continue to see many high-quality opportunities to invest.”

However, there were some negative numbers within the results, as the tech giant saw net income slip to 197 million US dollars (£150 million), down from 857 million US dollars (£656 million) in the same period last year.

Operating income was also down 51 per cent on the same period last year.

Amazon has been rapidly expanding its range of services beyond its core online retail business. It now includes an award winning film and TV studio and video streaming service.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that one of the biggest buildings in the country is taking shape in Doncaster - a colossal £100m Amazon warehouse which is set to create 1,650 jobs.

The shed is the size of 14 football pitches and dwarfs Amazon’s fulfilment centre on the same site, called iPort, near Rossington.