Tesco has increased its lead in the UK supermarket sector, while Sainsbury has slowed its decline, according to the latest figures from TNS Superpanel.

TNS grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 27 February 2005 show Tesco’s market share at 29.2% compared with 27.0% in the equivalent period a year earlier. Tesco’s sales were £5.225bn, (US$10.08bn) compared with £4.659bn a year ago. “The pressure from Tesco remains relentless as their share posts another record,” said Edward Garner, communications director of TNS Superpanel.

Despite the pressure from Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda continues to grow, achieving a 16.9% market share, with sales of £3.014bn, compared with a 16.7% share and sales of £2.888bn a year ago.

Sainsbury’s rate of decline has slowed considerably, he said. Sainsbury’s share was 16.0% this year, with sales of £2.865bn, compared with 16.2% and £2.796bn a year ago.