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The hot weather and Great Britain’s success at the Olympics in Rio combined to generate the best supermarket sales growth for nearly three years, according to Nielsen.

Nielsen found that during the four weeks ending 13 August 2016, the value of sales was up 0.9% against the same period a year ago. This represents the best figure (excluding Easter and Christmas-inflated periods) since the four-weeks ending 9 November 2013 (1.7%).

Sales volumes were up increased 1% – the best figure for over 16 months (28 March 2015, 1.5%).

Similarly Kantar Worldpanel’s market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 14 August 2016 found the market growing at 0.3% – the fastest acceleration for the overall market since March 2016.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight commented: “The stellar Team GB performances at the Olympics combined with the hot weather, particularly in mid-July, helped supermarkets to their own personal best for some time.”

“Brexit seems to have been replaced by an olympic ‘feel-good’ factor among shoppers and there were more visits to buy food and drink in the last four weeks than this time last year, with most retailers benefitting from an increase in shopper penetration.”

However, its 12-week market share data found each of the big four still in decline. Tesco (TSCO) was the best performer at -0.6%, with Sainsbury’s (SBRY) at -0.8%, Morrisons (MRW) -2.3% and Asda struggling at -5.6%.

Marks & Spencer (MKS) was up 5.5%, Waitrose up 2.5% and Aldi and Lidl up 15.9% and 9.9% respectively.

Kantar Worldpanel found that Lidl is the fastest growing supermarket, with sales up 12.2%. Sales at Aldi rose by 10.4%, while Tesco’s sales fell by 0.4% - its slowest rate of decline in six months.

Sales at Co-op rose by 2.8% compared to last year, while sales declined at Sainsbury’s by 0.6%, at Morrisons by 1.8% and Asda’s decline of 5.5% remains unchanged from last month.

Kantar added that grocery price inflation remains negative, with a representative basket of goods 1.3% cheaper than it was last year.

Morning update

Asda has agreed to sell its photo division to Photo-Me for around £5.35m.

The supermarket’s photo division consists of 191 photo centres, as well as 172 self-service kiosk sites located in Asda stores. These businesses will be managed by Photo-Me under a ten-year concession. As part of the Acquisition the employees of the photo division will transfer across to Photo Me.

Photo-Me will also operate the Asda-branded online photo-processing offering for a minimum of 2.5 years.

Photo-Me will pay £3.35m for the division, subject to downward adjustment in “certain circumstances” and has also agreed to buy the inventory available at each photo centre and central stock for around £2m.

In the calendar year 2015, Asda’s photo division generated unaudited sales of circa £19.3m and made an unaudited loss of £3.4m.

Completion of the acquisition is currently expected to take place on 31 October 2016.

On the markets today, the FTSE 100 has opened up 0.6% to 6,870.7pts.

The supermarket share prices have jumped following this morning’s market share data. Tesco is up 3.2% to 164.6p, Sainsbury’s up 1.8% to 246.1p, Morrisons up 1.6% to 199.9p and Ocado (OCDO) up another 1.2% to 292.8p after yesterday’s rises.

Also on the up are Tesco supplier Hilton Food Group (HFG), up 1.6% to 599.5p, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 1.5% to 205.9p, Diageo (DGE) up 1.4% to 2,179p and PayPoint (PAY), up 1.3% to 1,009.5p.

The few early fallers include McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), down 2.9% to 163.9p, Real Good Food (RGD)  down 2.9% to 33p and Premier Foods (PFD), down 1.1% to 50.2p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 fell 0.4% to 6,828.5pts yesterday as a fall in global oil prices hit UK-listed mining stocks.

One of the day’s standout performers was Ocado, which gained 3.25% to 289.2p yesterday to head back towards 300p. On Friday Goldman Sachs reiterated its strong buy position on Ocado with a price target of 615p.

Other risers included Greencore (GNC), up 3.1% to 353p and WH Smith (SMWH) ahead of its pre-close update tomorrow, up 2.6% to 1,590p. CARR’s Group (CARR) was up 6.2% to 154p and Conviviality (CVR) rose 2.5% to 226p.

A rise in the pound against the euro saw some notable fmcg names lose some ground yesterday, including Diageo (DGE), down 1.3% to 2,149p, Unilever (ULVR) down 1.1% to 3,565p and Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) down 0.7% to 1,693p.

Also down was Stock Spirits Group (STCK) down 2.7% to 174.8p, Glanbia (GLB), down 2% to €17.47 and C&C Group (CCR) down 1.6% to €3.80.