27/03/2012 10:06:00

Asda's UK Grocery Market Share Rises To 17.9%

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LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Asda's U.K. market share rose to an all time high with a year-on-year market share growth rate of 7.8% leading the big four, according to the latest figures from Kantar Tuesday, largely reflecting the full integration of its Netto stores.

For the 12 weeks ended March 18, Asda's market share rose to 17.9%, from 17.3% a year earlier. Including Netto, which it bought in April last year, total Asda market share fell slightly to 17.9%, from 18%. Asda is a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).

The market share for Tesco PLC (TSCO), the U.K.'s largest supermarket by market share, continued to fall while J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) and Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC's (MRW.LN) market share remained static.

Tesco's market share fell to 30.2% in the 12 weeks ended March 18, from 30.6% in the 12 weeks ended March 20, 2011. Sainsbury's market share was 16.6% and Morrison's share was 12.3% according to the latest data from Kantar, which monitors the grocery purchasing habits of 25,000 demographically representative U.K. households.

Upmarket retailer Waitrose and discount retailers Aldi and Lidl were the other gainers in the 12-week period. According to Kantar, Waitrose's market share rose to 4.4% from 4.3%, while Aldi and Lidl's combined market share rose to 5.3% from 4.6%.

Discount supermarket chains are thriving in the U.K. as cash-strapped consumers seek cheaper goods to make their money go further.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said Tesco's growth rate of 2.7% still lags behind the market and results in a drop in share, although it is an improvement on the growth rates seen so far this year.

Sainsbury's growth rate is 4.1% and Morrison's is 3.4% over the year.

-By Ian Walker, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9296; ian.walker@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 27, 2012 07:06 ET (11:06 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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