Bernard Arnault is not the second-richest person in the world anymore. This change happened because the value of luxury stocks decreased, making his wealth lower than Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
Bernard Arnault, who founded and leads LVMH, the French luxury company famous for brands like Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon, has seen his wealth decrease by $6.8 billion since last Wednesday, when the company reported weaker sales growth.
Currently, Bernard Arnault’s net worth is $155.1 billion, which is just a bit less than Jeff Bezos’s $156.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bernard Arnault’s Short Time as the World’s Richest Person
In late 2022, Bernard Arnault briefly held the title of the world’s richest person, surpassing CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, as tech stocks struggled due to high inflation. While he slipped behind Musk again in May, he hasn’t fallen lower than the second position since October 2022.
Arnault’s wealth decreased because the luxury goods industry had slower sales this year. This is mainly due to reduced demand from US consumers worried about inflation and a bumpy economic recovery in China. After LVMH, the company he leads, reported its earnings, its shares declined by about 10% in Paris over three days before bouncing back on Monday. Overall, they have decreased by 1.9% for the year.
Dropping from the second to the third spot on a list of the world’s richest people might not seem like a major issue when you realize that Bernard Arnault’s personal wealth is still greater than Morocco’s entire economy.
However, Bernard Arnault could face some challenges because luxury shoppers are starting to feel the pressure of a tightening global economy and economic difficulties.
LVMH’s earnings report for the third quarter, published on October 10, indicated that luxury shoppers, particularly in the United States and Europe, are becoming more careful. During that quarter, the group’s sales grew by 9% to €19.9 billion ($21.1 billion), a slower growth rate compared to the previous quarter’s 17%.
“After three roaring years, and outstanding years, growth is converging toward numbers that are more in line with historical average,” LVMH’s CFO Jean-Jacques Guiony.
Jeff Bezos Growing Wealth
Unlike LVMH, Amazon has been doing well despite the changing economy. Amazon had its most profitable quarter recently since the end of 2020, when online shopping surged because of the pandemic and lockdowns.
In August, Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy shared some impressive results that were better than what analysts had expected. The company generated $134.4 billion in revenue, and its earnings per share (EPS) were 65 cents, surpassing the expected 35 cents by a significant margin.
“We’re encouraged by the progress we’re making on several key priorities, namely lowering our cost to serve in our stores business, continuing to innovate on and improve our various customer experiences, and building new customer experiences that can meaningfully change what’s possible for customers in our business long term,” Jassy told analysts.
On the other hand, Jeff Bezos and Musk have seen their fortunes grow because of the recovery in technology stocks. Musk’s wealth has seen remarkable growth this year, increasing by a whopping $96.8 billion. This substantial increase is primarily attributed to Tesla’s stock value surging by an impressive 106%. Bezos has seen his fortune increase by $49.3 billion this year, driven by a substantial 58% rise in Amazon’s stock.
Bernard Arnault has lost his position as the second-richest person globally. This change is a result of a decline in the luxury stocks, leading to Jeff Bezos now occupying that spot. Arnault’s wealth fell by $6.8 billion after weaker sales reports. On the other hand, Bezos and Musk saw gains from the tech stock rebound. This highlights the changing world of global wealth.