Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become the world’s third richest person, according to Forbes, after strong earnings from the company.
Jeff Bezos owns 18% of Amazon’s shares, which rose 2% in trading on July 28.
Forbes estimated Jeff Bezos’ fortune to be $65.3 billion.
Amazon’s revenue beat analysts’ expectations, climbing 31% from last year to $30.4 billion in Q2 of 2016.
The company’s profit was $857 million, compared with $92 million in 2015.
According to Forbes estimates, Jeff Bezos’ fortune is only surpassed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, worth $78 billion, and the $73.1 billion fortune of Zara founder Amancio Ortega.
Amazon had developed a reputation for announcing little or no profit each quarter, but appeared to hit a turning point last year and has seen improving earnings since.
Amazon shares have spiked 50% since February.
Its Prime membership, which offers extra services including free shipping for an annual fee, saw impressive international growth.
In June, Amazon launched Prime in India to take advantage of the country’s large consumer market.
Jeff Bezos said: “It’s been a busy few months for Amazon around the world, and particularly in India – where we launched a new [Amazon Web Services] Region, introduced Prime with unlimited free shipping, and announced that Prime Video is coming soon, offering Prime members in India exclusive access to Amazon Original Series and Movies – including original content featuring top Indian creators and talent.”
Amazon has boosted Prime membership by improving its video streaming offerings, an area in which it competes with Netflix.
Prime Day, Amazon’s annual promotional shopping festival earlier this month, was the company’s largest ever sales day.
Amazon does not release figures for its Prime membership, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated US membership to be close to 63 million. Members spend an average of $1,200 a year, compared with $500 by non-members, according to the research company.
The company’s cloud computing unit also spiked. Revenue for Amazon Web Services (AWS), climbed 58.2% to $2.89 billion, beating analysts’ exceptions of $2.83 billion.
Sales growth for the unit in North America climbed 10% and 8% in the rest of the world.
Amazon has grown its market share in cloud computing compared with rivals such as Microsoft and Google.
It introduced a new Asia Pacific region for its cloud unit this quarter.
Amazon has also been looking to expand its presence in other areas. The company has now launched its online grocery store in the UK.
Earlier this month, it announced a partnership with US bank Wells Fargo to offer discounts on student loans for members of its Prime Student services.
Netflix declined to sign up Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May because they “weren’t worth” the £160 million ($256 million) said to have been paid by rival Amazon to air a new version of Top Gear, a senior executive for the streaming service said.
The former presenters of Top Gear left the BBC earlier this year after Jeremy Clarkson was fired for hitting a producer.
Netflix was known to have been in discussions with the former Top Gear trio but decided against taking things further after analyzing its own viewership data of past Top Gear episodes, according to the company chief product officer Neil Hunt.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May recently signed a “very, very, very expensive” deal with Amazon Prime.
However, Netflix has claimed the presenters “sold themselves for way more money” than they are worth.
“We have past episodes of Top Gear, so we have a pretty good gauge of what audiences like,” Neil Hunt, told Digital Spy in an interview.
“Our buying decisions tend to be somewhat data-driven. We have a lot of data to get the deals we want.
“Clearly it wasn’t worth the money to make the deal.”
Neil Hunt later clarified his comments in a statement, saying: “There is an audience for everything and it is not up to us to judge if Amazon has paid too much or not.”
British broadcaster BT Sport previously said it, too, had declined to bid for the Top Gear trio.
Managing director Delia Bushell told the Guardian: “To be honest I didn’t consider it. It just wasn’t right for us.
“It’s a fantastic franchise, but it made more sense for a global player like Netflix because Top Gear has huge US revenues as well.”
Jeremy Clarkson was suspended in March, following an “unprovoked physical attack” with a Top Gear producer in a Yorkshire hotel. It was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.
Following an internal investigation, the BBC decided not to renew the presenter’s contract.
Jeremy Clarkson’s co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show.
They have now signed up to Amazon Prime to make a new car-themed program, along with producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas”.
Top Gear will continue on BBC Two, with Chris Evans in charge.
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