Tesco's quarterly sales in Ireland grew for the first time in over two years but rivals Dunnes and Lidl were the big winners from the back to school sales period according to new figures from research company Kantar Worldpanel.

Over the three months to September 13th Tesco sales rose by 0.3% compared to the same period in 2014.

Kantar's figures show the supermarket is still the leader in the Irish market with a share of 24.8%.

Lidl posted growth in sales of 9.5% over the 12 week period, the fastest of any of the big chains. Dunnes sales were up 5.2% as it closed the gap on the second largest supermarket SuperValu. Dunnes has 22.7% of the market, by sales, up from 22% a year ago. SuperValu's share is down from 24.7% to 24.% over the same period.

Kantar says the Irish grocery market has now posted 18 consecutive months of growth in sales. Sales were up 1.8% compared to the same quarter in 2014.