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Elon Musk Loses His Spot as World’s Richest Person

Elon Musk
According to Forbes’ billionaire list, Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person, having been surpassed by another. Credits: Flickr/ CC BY 2.0.

Forbes’ billionaire list shows Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person, having been overtaken by Bernard Arnault, head of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH).

With a net worth of 208.8 billion dollars, Bernard Arnault now tops Forbes’ Real-Time billionaires List, with Elon Musk still hitting a close second with his net worth of 208.2 billion dollars.

Bernard Arnault saw a huge increase in wealth last week, with his net worth jumping by 22.7 billion dollars in just one day. This was a leap of 12.3 percent. On the other hand, Elon Musk saw his fortune plummet by 18 billion dollars on the day before this, representing an 8.1 percent decrease in his net worth.

Bernard Arnault richest person of the world
Bernard Arnault. Credit: nicogenin. CC BY 2.0/flickr

Why is Elon Musk No Longer World’s Richest Person?

According to LVMH’s latest financial report, the company experienced a record-breaking year in 2023.

The conglomerate’s performance across its diverse brand portfolio, encompassing respected names such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, and Tiffany & Co, saw a huge surge in revenue, reaching 86.3 billion dollars for the full year.

This represents a 13 percent increase from 2022’s figures and surpasses the 85.74 billion dollars predicted by analysts.

The largest revenue growth within the LVMH group was seen in its selective retailing sector, which experienced a 25 percent increase from the previous year. This increase has been attributed to the performance of Sephora and growth of DFS, aided by the recovery of international travel.

Bernard Arnhault’s LVMH’s gross profit hit 59.28 billion dollars, representing a 9.4 percent rise, while net profit climbed to 15.2 billion dollars, showcasing an eight percent rise compared to 2022.

Speaking to Euronews, the French billionaire said, “While remaining vigilant in the current context, we enter 2024 with confidence, backed by our highly desirable brands.” Bernard Arnault also held that 2024 would be an inspiring and exceptional year, highlighting LVMH’s participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In stark contrast, Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric car company, reported a small 3.5 percent increase in fourth-quarter 2023 revenue, reaching 25.2 billion dollars and an annual revenue of 96.8 billion dollars. This was a boost of 15 percent from 2022.

However, Tesla’s gross profit saw a large 15.3 percent drop to 17.66 billion dollars, despite the company’s net income rising to 7.93 billion dollars, which marks a 115 percent increase. This increase was largely due to a one-time tax benefit of 5.75 billion dollars.

Following the earnings release, Tesla’s shares declined by 12 percent, which has contributed to Elon Musk’s drop to second place among the world’s richest people.

The stark contrast in the wealth of Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk shows the volatile nature of large fortunes in the modern business ecosystem, where quick shifts in net worth can occur in a matter of hours, driven by the market performance of their respective empires.

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