Morrisons is growing faster than any of its supermarket rivals, new figures from Nielsen showed this week.

Sales at the UK’s number four are up 7.9% year-on-year by value, compared with Asda’s 7.4% and Sainsbury's 7.3%. Its market share has increased from 10.4% to 10.6% year-on-year to the 16 May.

Sainsbury's market share is now 14.8%, a vast improvement on last September, when it had dipped to 14%. Meanwhile, Tesco’s share was down 0.1 percentage points to 28%, and its sales growth was just 4.8%.

Nielsen said a record number of promotions was helping drive sales growth. “Some 32% of all sales were goods on offer in the four weeks to May 2009, another record high,” said Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services at Nielsen.

“Typically this time of year it is about 28%. Take this benefit away from shoppers and we would probably be looking at headline growths at the multiples some 1% less than the buoyant 5% we have seen since Easter.” 

Growth has slowed since last month as a result of lower price inflation. But the market is still increasing at 5.8%, according to the latest figures from TNS, also released this week [12 w/e to 17 May].

Discounters Aldi, Netto and Lidl have increased their combined market share to 6.1% (compared with 5.9% last year) but their combined growth rate of 9.4% had slowed and was no longer running at twice that of the big four.