By Jonathan Davies

Asda is once again the UK's second biggest supermarket despite reporting the worst sales in its history last week.

Asda briefly lost second spot to Sainsbury's last month, but now has a market share of 16.6% - above Sainsbury's 16.3%. The figures, from market expert researchers Kantar Worldpanel, show that Tesco still has a commanding lead of 28.3%.

Last week, Asda reported a 4.7% drop in sales for the second quarter - the worst fall in its history. At the time, chief executive Andy Clarke said it was a "short-term picture" and that supermarket was starting to show signs of long-term growth.

According to Kantar's figures, Asda's sales fell 2.5% in the 12 weeks to 16 August and it lost a 0.6% market share.

“The retailer’s greater focus on non-food items means its market share is traditionally higher in the summer, and it’s expected that Sainsbury’s will again become the number-two retailer towards Christmas,” Kantar's Fraser McKevitt said.

Sainsbury's was the only one of the 'Big Four' supermarkets to see an increase in sales during the 12 week period.