Frozen food retailer Iceland recorded year-on-year sales growth of 16 per cent in the 12 weeks to January 26, according to new market research data.

Morrisons followed behind with a rise of 9.6 per cent, with Asda coming in third with sales growth of 7.2 per cent, according to Nielsen.

The Nielsen Homescan Total Till figures show Tesco’s growth of 4.8 per cent was up on the 3.8 per cent recorded in the 12 weeks to December 27. Sainsbury’s growth increased to 4 per cent compared with 3.8 per cent in the last 12-week period.

Marks & Spencer returned to positive growth of 1.4 per cent after declining 0.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 27. Waitrose sales grew 1.7 per cent after remaining flat in the previous 12 week period.

In January, grocery sales as a whole increased 6.5 per cent year-on-year.

Asda showed the most growth in January, with sales leaping 10 per cent in the 4 weeks to January 24.

Nielsen said sales of general merchandise helped the retailer’s performance as shoppers grabbed deals on electricals, homewares and clothing. The average spend per Asda shopper was up 6 per cent in the 4 week period.

Nielsen senior manager retailer services Mike Watkins said: ”The January figures look healthier than we have seen for months with Morrisons and Asda turning in notable performances and Marks & Spencer and Waitrose re-entering growth.”