Tesco increased its lead in the UK grocery market in the 12 weeks to 4 December, according to the latest figures from market analysts TNS.

Tesco’s market sales were up 10%, giving it 30.6% of the market, compared with 28.7% in the same period a year ago. Overall grocery market growth was 4%

“Sainsbury is also keeping up its current momentum growing ahead of the market for the tenth successive period and lifting its share from 15.6% a year ago to 15.9% in the latest period,” said Edward Garner, communications director of TNS Superpanel.

“Now that the Safeway disposals have ceased, the overall Morrisons share is starting to stabilise – the year-on-year decline of 8% is the lowest seen for a year and the share of 11.3% is largely unchanged for the last 5 periods,” he said. Morrisons’ total share is 11.3%, compared with 12.8% a year ago.

“This trading background means that the “softer” retail targets we saw a year ago no longer exist and, as a result, Asda is finding it hard to maintain its historical growth,” Edward Garner said. “The share has declined from 16.8% a year go to 16.5% and the 2% growth rate is behind the market average.”