January 9, 2018 / 9:07 AM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-Tesco top in UK Christmas trading battle - Kantar Worldpanel

 (Adds table, quote)
    LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest supermarket
group Tesco was the best performer over Christmas,
Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday, with a 3.1 percent rise in
sales in the past 12 weeks beating its "big four" rivals
Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.
    Asda, owned by Walmart, increased sales by 2.2
percent in the period to Dec. 31, while 2.1 percent more came
through the tills at Morrisons and Sainsbury's
was up 2.0 percent, the research group said.
    But growth at Aldi            and Lidl continued to outpace
the four, with both discounters seeing sales rise by 16.8
percent.
    "Overall supermarket sales increased in value by 3.8
percent, with an additional 1 billion pounds ($1.35
billion)ringing through the tills compared to the same festive
period last year," said Fraser McKevitt, Kantar Worldpanel's
head of retail and consumer insight.  
    "Shoppers parted with 747 million pounds on Dec. 22 alone,
making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever
recorded."  
    Morrisons beat forecasts on Tuesday for underlying Christmas
sales, as premium products, online sales and competitive prices
lured more shoppers into the fourth biggest supermarket group.

    Morrisons was the first of the big four to report on
Christmas trade. Sainsbury's, the No. 2, reports on Wednesday
and Tesco updates on Thursday. 
    Rival market researcher Nielsen also named Tesco the best
Christmas performer among the major grocers on Tuesday, although
Asda outpaced it in the shorter December period.
    Grocery inflation stood at 3.7 percent for the period,
Kantar said.
     
      Market share and sales growth (percent)
              12 wks to        12 wks to        pct change in
              Dec. 31, 2017    Jan. 01, 2017    sales
 Tesco        28.0             28.2             3.1
 Sainsbury's  16.4             16.7             2.0
 Asda         15.3             15.5             2.2
 Morrisons    10.7             10.9             2.1
 Aldi         6.8              6.0              16.8
 Cooperative  5.8              6.0              -0.2
 Lidl         5.0              4.4              16.8
 Waitrose     5.2              5.3              2.3
 Iceland      2.2              2.3              2.9
 Ocado        1.3              1.2              8.4
    Source: Kantar Worldpanel
    
    ($1 = 0.7394 pounds)

 (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton and Edmund
Blair)
  
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