Billionaire Bernard Arnault, the founder and CEO of LVMH, has lost his position as the world’s second-richest person to Jeff Bezos, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Arnault’s net worth has declined by $6.8 billion since Wednesday, following LVMH’s report of softer sales growth.
Currently, Arnault’s wealth is estimated at $155 billion, slightly below Bezos’s $156 billion. Arnault had briefly become the richest person in late 2022, surpassing Elon Musk, as tech stocks faced challenges due to high inflation. While he dropped below Musk in May, Arnault had consistently held the second position since October 2022.
The decline in Arnault’s wealth reflects the sluggish sales experienced by the luxury goods industry this year, influenced by weakened demand from US consumers concerned about inflation and an uncertain economic recovery in China. In the third quarter, LVMH reported a modest 1% increase in sales, reaching €19.96 billion, while organic revenues rose by 9% compared to the previous year. For the first nine months of 2023, LVMH achieved revenues of €62.205 billion, marking a 14% growth compared to the same period in 2022.
It is reported that on October 11, LVMH Group released its third fiscal quarter results report, sales rose only 9% year-on-year to 19.96 billion euros, less than analysts expected. Following the financial report,, Wednesday’s opening LVMH shares should fall more than 6%, market value evaporated more than 20 billion euros to 343.8 billion euros.
In contrast, Bezos and Musk have enjoyed the recovery of tech stocks. Musk has seen a significant increase of $96.8 billion in his fortune this year, driven by a remarkable 106% surge in Tesla’s stock. Similarly, Bezos’s wealth has grown by $49.3 billion as Amazon’s stock soared by 58% in 2023.