Kroger, the US supermarket operator, said yesterday it was holding onto its market share despite growing competition from Wal-Mart and a bold price cutting strategy.

Wal-Mart opened 103 new Supercenter stores last year in many of Kroger’s major markets, bringing its total to 781. But Kroger said it had managed to increase market share in about a third of the main markets where it faced Supercenter competition from Wal-Mart.

Kroger’s same store sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.9% on the fourth quarter last year.