Belfast Telegraph

Amazon sales boost briefly makes founder Jeff Bezos world's richest man

Amazon has reported a sales increase of 25% for the second quarter of 2017, on the day founder Jeff Bezos briefly became the world's richest man.

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

Earlier, anticipation of good results for the online retail giant saw share prices rise and briefly push 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 same number two spot he started in.

Of the company's 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.

"It's energising to invent on behalf of customers, and 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% on the same period last year.

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

The company's gadgets have also performed well with consumers in the last year, most notably its Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers - powered by virtual assistant Alexa - which has been at the forefront of the artificial intelligence revolution.

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