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Tesco (TSCO) experienced its best year-on-year sales figures for over three years, according to Nielsen market share data released today.

In the 12 weeks ending 8 October 2016, the amount of money Tesco took at the tills increased 1.4% versus the same period last year – it’s highest sales rise since recording a 2.3% boost in the 12 weeks to 14 September 2013.

This represents only the fourth period (out of 39) since then that Tesco has had a year-on-year increase in total sales.

Similarly, the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 9 October 2016, show Tesco increasing sales by 1.3% – marking a return to growth for the UK’s largest retailer for the first time since March 2015.

“Tesco has started to attract new shoppers again, with two thirds of households visiting them in the last four weeks,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight. “They are well placed to benefit from the ‘little-and-often’ mode of shopping behaviour which we see as a key driver of future growth across the entire industry.”

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “Foods including ready meals and produce have been among the fastest growing areas at Tesco, helped by its ‘Farm Brands’ but also its standard own label lines. Sales growth has been strongest among family shoppers, while improved trading from its larger supermarket and Extra stores has supported this month’s gains.”

Sainsbury’s (SBRY) was the next best performer of the big four, with Nielsen finding 12-week sales down 0.6%, while Morrisons (MRW) saw a 3.2% decline and Asda was down 5.1%.

Aldi saw the strongest sales rise of 13.2% with Nieslen, but Lidl slipped back to just 4.1% growth – which was behind the 5.1% growth at Marks & Spencer (MKS), 4.9% growth at The Co-op and 4.8% sales rise at Iceland.

Kantar found sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.4%, while Morrisons continues to feel the effects of a smaller store portfolio with sales down by 3.0% and Asda sales dropped 5.2%. It found a closer rate of sales growth between Aldi (+11.4%) and Lidl (+8.4%), while Iceland was up 6.9%, the Co-op 3.1% and Waitrose 3.5%.

It was a good period for the UKs leading supermarkets overall, with the four weeks ending 8 October representing the third consecutive month of growth. Both money taken at the till and volume of goods sold were up 0.1% versus the same period a year ago.

Kantar found overall sales increased by 0.8% on last year.

Kantar Worldpanel said the price of everyday groceries fell by 0.8% compared with a year ago and in contrast to the -1.1% reported last month, with deflation particularly noticeable among pork, crisps and poultry products.

Morning update

There’s once more little of note on the markets this morning.

The one grocery/fmcg update is a pre-close trading update for the third quarter from Ukrainian poultry and grain producer MHP.

Increasing production volumes at the Company’s farms helped volumes in Q3 2016 increase by 5% to 149,760 tonnes and by 8% to 455,425 tonnes for the first nine months of the year.

FTSE 100 is back over 7,000pts again, rising 0.8% this morning to 7,008.8pts so far today.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s have been boosted by this morning’s market share data, with the former up 1.8% to 204.9p and latter up 1.4% to 232.5p. Morrisons has fallen back 0.5% to 220.4p so far this morning.

Other strong risers include SSP Group (SSPG), up 2.4% to 332p, M&S, up 1.8% to 325.6p, FeverTree (FEVR), up 1.7% to 964.5p and Coca-Cola HBC, up 1.4% to 1,848p.

Early fallers include McColl’s (MCLS), down 1.5% to 182.2p, Total Produce (TOT), down 1.4% to 157.8p and Hilton Food Group (HFG), down 1.2% to 595p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.9% to 6,947.6pts yesterday, falling late in the day as US stocks stumbled.

The pound continued its Brexit-inspired slump, dropping below €1.10 against the euro for the first time since March 2010 and dipping below $1.22 against the dollar.

Morrisons (MRW) was one of the only significant grocery stocks on the up yesterday, rising 0.5% to 221.4p while other consumer stocks were caught up in the negative market sentiment.

WH Smith (SMWH) fell back 2.6% to 1,528p, M&S (MKS) was down 2.2% to 319.9p, Imperial Brands (IMB) fell 1.9% to 3,818p, Booker Group (BOK) was down 1.8% to 182.3p, Cranswick droped 1.6% to 2,371p and Sainsbury’s dropped 1.6% to 229.3p.

Other fallers included PayPoint (PAY), slumping 5.8% to 1,100p, Greene King (GNK), falling 2.1% to 725.5p and Premier Foods dropping 2.1% to 47.3p.

Amongst the few risers were McColl’s (MCLS), up 1.7% to 185p, Nichols (NCLS), up 1.4% to 1,420p and Majestic Wine (WINE), up 1.3% to 293.8p.