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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers queue at a supermarket in London © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers queue at a supermarket in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British grocery sales rose by 5.3% year-on-year in the four weeks to Sept. 5, boosted by households working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, industry data on Tuesday showed.

Market researcher Nielsen said, however, that the growth was down from 7% in last month's report, adding that supermarkets in Britain had continuing strong online sales over the period, up 102%, while sales at stores fell by 1.6%.

"Food retail sales are still being boosted by households working from home, and such disruptions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future," Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight, said in a statement.

The supermarket industry was expected to remain more resilient than other types of consumer spending, Watkins said, forecasting sales growth of more than 6% for groceries in the last few months of the year, compared to flat growth seen at the end of 2019.

Morrisons, Britain's fourth largest supermarket group, was the best performer among the big four grocers, with sales up by 10.4% over the 12 weeks to Sept. 5.

Market leader Tesco (L:TSCO) saw growth of 7.5%, followed by Sainsbury 's (L:SBRY) at 5.6% and Walmart (N:WMT) owned Asda at 4.2%.


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