• Q3 group sales up 8.8%
  • International sales rise 15.7%
  • Core UK business like-for-like sales up 1.5%

Improving non-food sales trends and growth at its international operations helped retail giant Tesco to record an 8.8% rise in group sales for the third quarter ending 27 November.

The company was also boosted by international growth, with international sales up 15.7% on the back of strong performances in Asia and the United States.

Its core business in the UK showed 5% sales growth, or 1.5% on a like-for-like basis.

Tesco said it was continuing to see evidence of a "steady" consumer recovery, with improving non-food sales and a 30% revenue rise for Tesco Direct.

The retailer recorded strong growth from its Asian operations, with sales up 23.4%. Like-for-like sales rose 4.3%, slowing slightly on the 5% recorded in the second quarter.

The company also saw sales grow 38.5% in the US, where like-for-like sales reached 9.8%, which it attributed to increased customer numbers.

CEO Terry Leahy said: "As the global economic recovery gathers pace, our broad-based strategy, combined with our ongoing focus on productivity savings, is enabling us to maintain growth in a sustainable, profitable way - delivering value for customers and for shareholders."