Tesco has posted a strong set of trading figures for the 13 weeks ending November 24.

The grocer’s UK sales were up 7.6 per cent and like-for-like sales jumped 4.1 per cent, excluding petrol. Total group sales increased 11.8 per cent – after rising 9.2 per cent in the first half – driven by rapid international expansion and a solid performance in non-food.

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: “We've maintained pleasing progress during the third quarter across the group. Overall sales growth has strengthened, with international delivering a particularly strong performance, and the UK has again done well, with good growth in our core food categories. Our first Fresh & Easy stores in the US have been very well-received by customers.”

International sales rocketed by 25.7 per cent at actual exchange rates, including a particularly strong performance in Asia, where sales lept 29 per cent.

Blue Oar Securities analyst Greg Lawless said: “The UK business is back on track after the Q2 wobble, which was not really Tesco-specific. The international business performed slightly better than we expected, driven mainly by increased space growth.”