First quarter performance at Tesco, one of the world's largest retailers, has been overshadowed by a slowdown in its non-food business - which includes clothing.

In a trading statement today (19 June), chief executive, Terry Leahy said that in its core UK business in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, "our rate of growth in non-food has eased in more subdued markets."

Britain's biggest supermarket group reported a 4.7% rise in UK like-for-like sales excluding petrol in the 13 weeks to 26 May, a slowdown from 5.6% growth in the previous quarter. Total UK sales excluding petrol grew by 8.0%.

Group sales for the quarter increased by 10.0%, helped by expanding international operations where sales were up 24.6% at constant exchange rates driven by a strong performance in Asia.

Tesco last week announced GBP270m of price cuts on 3,000 products - mainly food - as it hit back at rival Asda which lowered prices on 10,000 items including its George clothing range.