Morrisons has achieved positive growth of 2% for the first time since its acquisition of the Safeway business in March 2004, according to Market research company TNS Worldpanel.

However, Morrisons is still short of the 5% total UK market growth, during the 12 weeks ending 18 June, and the retailer's 11.3% share of the grocery market is down on the 11.7% level last year.

TNS Worldpanel director Chris Longbottom said: "The 2% increase in value demonstrates clearly that the business is turning the corner and seems poised for market share growth, as the period of store disposals has come to an end."
 
Asda has retained the UK's number two spot with 16.5% share, with year-on-year growth rate up to 6%, widening the gap from closest competitor Sainsbury's, which currently holds a 16.0% share, according to TNS. Tesco has continued to grow ahead of the market at 9%, lifting its share still further to 31.4%.

Outside the top four retailers, Somerfield has continued to increase share, from 4.0% to 4.2%, while Lidl and Aldi have also seen growth resulting from acquired Kwik Save branches, the research group said.