Jeff Bezos' wealth jumps $12bn in one day as Amazon shares soar 10%

World’s richest man now worth more than $134bn thanks to his stake in the technology giant he founded in 1997
Jeff Bezos’ fortune soared by $12bn on Thursday thanks to Amazon’s exceptional results that beat Wall Street’s expectations.
Mr Bezos, already the world’s richest man is now worth more than $134bn (£96bn) thanks to his stake in the technology giant he founded in 1997. That puts him $43bn ahead of second-placed Bill Gates on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, fifth on the rich list, saw his wealth jump by $5.8bn on Thursday after the social network posted better-than-expected results. That came after $2bn dip on Tuesday.
Read more Surging Amazon revenue pushes shares to record high Amazon’s shares jumped more than 10 per cent on Thursday to a record high after the company revealed revenues were up 43 per cent year over year to $51bn (£36.6bn).
The company's cloud-computing unit Amazon Web Services also registered strong gains.
Mr Bez..

As Wetherspoons scraps Twitter and Facebook – is social media important for big brands?

Do we really need all these platforms to sell our wares? Or do they merely fill customers’ timelines with white noise? David Barnett talks to industry insiders
The prevailing wisdom is that if you’ve got something to sell, then social media is your shop window. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… if your brand isn’t doing the business on these and a multitude of other platforms, then there’s a risk it’s not doing the business at all.
According to the latest number-crunching report from Brandwatch, which helps businesses understand social media, out of a global population of 7.6 billion there are 4.2 billion internet users. Of those, more than three billion are active on social media, and that number grew by 121 million between the second and third quarters of 2017 – equating to someone signing up for a social media account every 15 seconds.
Facebook has two billion users; Twitter 330 million; YouTube has 1.5 billion; Instagram 800 million. Even MySpace (kids, ask your..

UK consumer confidence 'stuck in doldrums', says survey

GfK’s main index fell back to -9 in the month, down from -7 in March
Measures of UK consumer confidence fell back in April, raising further doubts over the mettle of British shoppers and their ability to support growth in the wider economy.
Read more UK consumer confidence boosted by wage growth and Brexit progress UK consumer confidence drops to lowest level since Brexit result UK consumer confidence slips back in October ​GfK reported on Friday that its main index fell back to -9 in the month, down from -7 in March.
There was also an eye-catching fall in the measure of the public’s expectations for their personal financial situation over the next 12 months, which fell from 10 to 4, suggesting people are feeling less confident, despite the decline in inflation and wages that the Bank of England expects to underpin spending.
“Hope springs eternal for better numbers but the continued uncertain economic forecast means that the sun is not yet shining brightly for UK consumers,” said..

Microsoft posts better than expected financial results as revenue grows 16% in a year

CEO says results vindicate focus on cloud products
Microsoft reported steady growth in its latest round of financial results as the company's chief executive praised the performance of its cloud services.
The technology giant reported revenue of $26.8bn (£19.2bn), a 16 per cent increase on the same quarter last year.
The company's net income also rose 35 per cent to $7.4bn (£5.3bn).
Read more Microsoft women filed 238 discrimination and harassment complaints Tech Giants Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM Keep Their Heads in the Cloud Windows tool shows how much of your personal data Microsoft collects Chief executive Satya Nadella, who has overseen a shift in the firm's focus away from hardware such as smartphones and towards its software and cloud products such as Office 365, said the results reflected industry faith in the move.
“Our results this quarter reflect the trust people and organisations are placing in the Microsoft Cloud,” he said.
“We are innovating a..

Amazon's revenue surges by 43 per cent pushing shares to record high

Company has become a recurring target for Donald Trump
Amazon’s profits surged past Wall Street predictions for the first quarter of 2018, pushing company shares to an all-time high.
The company’s revenue grew 43 per cent year over year to $51bn (£36.6bn), a figure that includes its earnings from acquiring upscale grocery chain Whole Foods and exceeded projections. Earnings per share came in at $3.27 (£2.3bn), outpacing analysts’ estimates of roughly $1.26 (£0.9bn).
Its cloud-computing unit Amazon Web Services also posted strong gains, registering a 49 per cent in sales over the previous year and generating some $1.4 bn (£1bn) in operating income. CEO Jeff Bezos who said the numbers vindicated a longstanding focus on the service.
Read more Amazon will now deliver packages to the boot of your car Amazon forces people to buy James Comey book if they want to review it Amazon Prime has passed the 100 million customer mark, says Jeff Bezos “AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-yea..

Npower and SSE merger could push up gas and electricity bills, says competition watchdog

Energy giants told they have to address competition concerns or deal will be referred for full investigation
A planned merger between Npower and SSE could push up electricity prices for customers, the competition watchdog has warned.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) told the two energy giants they have to address its concerns or it will refer the deal for a full investigation.
Several of UK’s “Big Six” gas and electric companies have come under fire in recent weeks after hiking prices.
Read more SSE and Npower announce merger of UK operations The CMA’s initial inquiry found that a tie-up between NPower and SSE could further reduce competition among utilities leaving some customers worse off.
Rachel Merelie, senior director at the CMA, said: “We know that competition in the energy market does not work as well as it might.
“However, competition between energy companies gives them a reason to keep prices down.
“We have found that the proposed merger between SSE Retai..

Starbucks reports 150% increase in reusable cup use since introduction of 5p charge

A charge placed on disposable coffee cups in select Starbucks outlets has led to a 150 per cent increase in reusable cup use, according to a preliminary assessment by the company.
As part of the coffee giant’s efforts to tackle disposable coffee cup waste, it has added a 5p charge to all paper cups sold in 35 shops across parts of central and west London.
The increase, measured by the number of customers redeeming the 25p reusable cup discount, was observed just six weeks into the company’s three-month trial in the selected outlets.
Read more Costa Coffee pledges to recycle half a billion disposable cups a year However, the proportion of customers bringing in their own cups is still fairly modest – only 5.9 per cent compared to 2.2 per cent in the same stores before the trial began.
All money made from the charge goes to environmental charity Hubbub.
“We are encouraged by the initial results of our trial that show that by charging 5p and increasing communication on this issue, ..