Sir Ken Morrison was the grocery industry's biggest winner in The Sunday Times' Rich List last Sunday, with a fortune that rose 11% to £1.6bn.

While most people on the list have seen their wealth nosedive over the past year, Sir Ken, founder of the Morrisons supermarket chain, was the fourth-biggest riser, at 16th place.

"It's game, set and match to Sir Ken," said Philip Beresford, author of the Rich List. "His long-sighted approach, buying Safeway and ignoring the criticism of the rest of the world, has paid off. He has confounded the City and solved the succession problem and no one thought he could do it. The fact that the business is creating lots of jobs is the icing on the cake."

Booker CEO Charles Wilson was another winner. His fortune rose by £11m to £51m as a result of the success of the company, in which he owns a stake worth an estimated £36m.

Iceland founder Malcolm Walker saw his value remain static at £54m, just keeping him outside the top 1,000.

Most grocery figures lost value over the past year, but less than their non-grocery peers, pushing them up the rankings.

"The grocery industry is losing less than most others and there are vast gaps being torn in last year's list by the recession, which has pushed them up," added Beresford. "Food is the last refuge for everyone in a deep recession - grocery is suffering less as a result."

So though Lord Sainsbury and his family lost £200m in value, they were still worth £1.1bn, boosting them to 37th.

Sir Anwar Pervez, chairman and majority owner of Bestway, saw £228m wiped off his and his family's value, but still climbed the rankings to 103rd place with a fortune of £498m.

Wing Yip, who founded the eponymous cash & carry chain, is worth £72m despite losing £7m, while Eric Herd, who owns a majority stake in Farmfoods, is worth £45m, down £5m.

There were several new entries on the list, including Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy (£32m), and M&S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose (£30m).