French retailer E. Leclerc today (12 February) claimed its share of the domestic market grew faster than its rivals in 2012.

Leclerc said it had 18.6% of the French grocery market last year, up a full percentage point on 2011. The retailer said the growth was “the strongest in the sector”. It added: “Since 2009, that is 2.1 points of market share that the chain has secured from its rivals.”

The increase in market share came as Leclerc reported higher sales in France and abroad.

It cited its pricing strategy, its investment in building a multichannel business and its businesses in different sectors.

In France, Leclerc’s sales, excluding fuel, were up 7% at EUR32.2bn (US$43.31bn). Including petrol sales, sales increased 7.5% to EUR43.7bn.

Outside France, Leclerc reported a 7.1% rise in sales excluding fuel to EUR2.5bn. With fuel, sales were up 6.9% at EUR3bn.

For the group as a whole, revenue increased 7% excluding fuel to EUR34.9m. Including fuel, sales were up 7.5% at EUR43.7m.