Overseas expansion plan on track
Tesco has reported its routine strong start to the year with first-quarter UK like-for-like sales up 4.5 per cent, excluding petrol.

Total UK sales for the 13 weeks to May 27 rose 9 per cent. In a trading statement, the group said this represented 'solid growth in competitive markets'. The grocer added that non-food in particular had performed well.

Sales at the supermarket chain's international division increased 15.1 per cent, with overall group sales rising 10.4 per cent. The company revealed it was on track to deliver its largest ever programme of overseas store openings this year. Tesco will add more than 6 million sq ft (560,400 sq m) of selling space internationally, with 1 million sq ft (92,900 sq m) added by the acquisition of 11 Carrefour stores in the Czech Republic.

Chief executive Terry Leahy said: 'We've made a good start to the year across the group. International is showing strong growth and pushing on well with new store development and the UK has made solid progress on top of two years of exceptional performance.'