ONE STEP HIGHER: Amazon's Jeff Bezos, now the world's third richest man.

Jeff Bezos has overtaken Warren Buffett as the world’s third richest man after his firm Amazon reported better than expected results.

Mr Bezos’ fortune stood at $65.3bn (£49.6bn) as of Thursday morning, after the US markets closed for the day.

Forbes said that now puts him ahead of Mr Buffett’s wealth of $64.9bn (£49.3bn).

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remains the world’s richest person, at $77.7bn (£59.1bn), while Spain’s Amancio Ortega, who founded the Zara clothing group, was second at $72.7bn (£55.3bn).

Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was fifth, at $54bn (£41bn).

Mr Bezos, 52, owns nearly 18% of Amazon.

The company has in recent years expanded beyond its core business of internet retail sales with the launch of web services and entertainment.

Amazon said its net sales rose 31.1% to $30.40bn (£23.1bn) in the second quarter, giving it earnings of $857m (£651m).

It forecast sales of between $31.0bn and $33.5bn in the current quarter, compared to Wall Street’s expectations of $31.6bn.

Amazon shares were up 2% in after-hours trading.

Another internet giant to impress the markets was Alphabet , the parent company of Google, which reported second quarter profits up 43% from last year to $4.9bn (£3.7bn).

Revenue jumped 21% to $21.5bn (£16.3bn), the California tech firm said, prompting the price of its shares to rise.

Mr Buffett, 85, owns nearly 18% of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, but his drop to fourth place in the world’s richest came after he donated $2.86bn (£2.17bn) of Berkshire stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities.

He has donated more than $24.3bn (£18.5bn) to the Gates Foundation and family charities since 2006.