Morrisons was the grocery sector's big winner this Christmas, clocking up sales growth of 9.3% in the 12 weeks to 30 December, according to TNS Worldpanel data.

The retailer put in a stellar performance - vastly better than the 4.9% growth of the grocery industry as a whole - on the back of new advertising and aggressive promotions.

It trounced the sales growth figures of its big four rivals with Tesco and Asda achieving 5.3% and 5.2% growth respectively and Sainsbury's 4.7%.

Two of the smaller multiples fared reasonably well, Waitrose clocking up 5.5% growth and Iceland 7.4%. However, Somerfield's sales fell 0.4%, though total sales were not far off last year's, despite store closures.

Lidl and Aldi cashed on careful consumer spending with growth of 6.5% and 8.1% respectively, benefiting from the failure of Kwik Save.

Not everyone got to share the Christmas cheer, however. Sales for co-ops overall rose just 0.4%, while those for independents dipped 3.3%. Symbol groups' sales fell 2.5%; those at other independents fell 3.7%.

Market share remained broadly unchanged, though Morrisons' strong showing meant its share rose from 11% a year earlier to 11.4%.

Nielsen figures show shoppers spent £11bn on food, drink and seasonal non-foods at supermarkets in the four weeks to 29 December, with £5.7bn taken in the last two weeks of the month.

This showed there had not been the last-minute rush retailers had hoped for, said Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services. "The impact of the big four's deep promotions was to keep like-for-like sales growth above inflation of 3% - but they did not grow total food sales any further.

"The market slowed by 15 December and never really took off again. Had momentum continued, shoppers would have spent £300m more on food, drink and general merchandise at the multiples in December than they actually did."