Asda has grown its share of grocery ahead of rival Sainsbury's as it cements its position as the UK's second-biggest retailer.

The Leeds-based supermarket group grew its share to 16.9% for the 12 weeks to 25 March 2007, up six base points from 16.3% for the same period in 2006 according to the latest figures from TNS Worldpanel. Sainsbury's grew its share four base points to 16.4%.

Tesco grew by six base points, taking its total share to 31.2% of UK grocery.

Waitrose claimed a 3.9% share, up from 3.7%, while the discounters Aldi and Lidl also grew their share.

Beleaguered high street discounter Kwik Save's share remained just 0.2%, while Somerfield was another loser. Its share fell from 4% to 3.7%. The combined turnover of the UK grocers was up 5% to £18.75bn.

However sales through independent grocers fell by 2% to £525.3m, while the independents' market share was down to 2.8% from 3% last year, said TNS.

"The latest figures again show the buoyancy of the grocery sector in stark contrast to some of the tales of woe that have been emanating from the rest of the high street, most recently from Woolworths," said TNS Worldpanel director of research Edward Garner.