Irish retailer SuperValu has grown faster than the country's grocery market for the first time since March, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.

SuperValu, which is owned by Irish retailer Musgrave Group, increased its sales by 0.3% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 27 November. Over the same period, sales by value in Ireland's grocery were flat, Kantar said. SuperValu's share of the market stayed constant at 19.6%.

The data indicated that food sales volumes are under pressure in Ireland; inflation for the period was 3.7%, up from 3.2% in the previous period.

Kantar said the period under review was the first time in two years that Ireland's top three retailers, Tesco, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu, had outperformed the market.

Tesco, Ireland's largest retailer, increased its sales by 3.1%, taking its share of the market from 27% to 27.8%.

Dunnes, the country's second-largest retailer, saw its sales rise 3.5%. The company's share of Ireland's grocery market went up from 23.3% to 24.1%.

"Tesco has continued to open new stores throughout 2011, helping to build customer loyalty by capturing more shopping occasions from its customers. Dunnes Stores has cemented its return to growth through enhanced sales of traditional branded goods, while SuperValu's strong sales growth has come from the increasing popularity of its own brand range," Kantar commercial director David Berry said.

The fastest rate of growth among Ireland's top retailers came from Aldi, which saw sales jump 26%.

"Aldi continues to lead the pack having maintained a phenomenal growth rate of over 20% throughout 2011. However, only time will tell whether the retailer will manage to hold on to its shoppers for the crucial Christmas period," Berry said.