Tesco has revealed a 2.5 per cent UK like for like sales increase, excluding fuel, in the seven weeks to January 10.

Adjusted for the effect of the December VAT cut, the increase was 3.5 per cent. Total group sales were up 11.6 per cent, and the company described the UK performance as "steady."

Online sales rose over 18 per cent to£273 million in the period. The company said non-food sales were up "a little" compared to the previous quarter and were showing like-for-like growth.

International performance was stronger, with total international sales up 32.7 per cent, helped by favourable exchange rates in Europe. However growth in Europe slowed at constant exchange rates. Asian sales grew 43 per cent, and those Fresh & Easy stores in the US open more than a year were up in double digits.