Asda has recorded a surge in market share and value growth over Christmas, according to figures released by Nielsen.

The Leeds-based grocer’s market share increased to 17.1% in the 12 weeks to February 4, up from 16.3% in the same period last year boasted by the conversion of former Netto stores. Asda enjoyed value growth of 8%.

The data follows the widespread declaration of Asda as the star performer over the Christmas trading period and comes ahead of the grocer’s full-year results next Tuesday.

Tesco’s market share slipped from 29.1% to 28.6% while it experienced a 1.5% rise in value growth. Morrisons’ market share was flat at 11.5% while value grew 2.7% while Sainsbury’s share rose from 16.1% to 16.4%.

Aldi was the star performer outside the Big Four, experiencing a 29.2% growth in value and improving its market share to 2% from 1.6%.

As expected, up-for-sale frozen food retailer Iceland performed well over the period, recording a 7.5% increasing in value while The Co-operative’s performance slipped, falling 1.2% in value.

Value growth at the UK’s grocery multiples for the four weeks to February 4 was up 3.5%.

Nielsen senior manager for retailer services Mike Watkins said: “January was a month of two halves. It began with shoppers holding back spending after Christmas, seemingly choosing instead to pay down credit cards in the opening weeks. 

“However, re-stocking picked up later in the month after payday, meaning growth across January was an improvement on last year. Despite the recent cold snap, sales weren’t held back to the extent they were during the Arctic conditions experienced a year ago.”

Watkins said vouchers, coupons and fuel discounts are driving footfall and attracting repeat visits as shoppers are motivated by the immediate cash saving.   

He added: “With food inflation also slowing, the modest improvement in growths, which are currently back to the levels last seen nine months ago, are encouraging. But it will be the full quarter trend - to the end of March - that will be more indicative of underlying shopper behaviour in 2012.” 

The table below shows the Nielsen 12-Weekly % Share of grocery market spend by retailer and value sales % change


 % share, 12 weeks to 05 Feb 2011% share, 12 weeks to 4 Feb 2012% value change vs same 12 Weeks Year Ago