Shares in Tesco Plc climbed by over 6% this morning (2 December) despite the UK's largest retailer revealing that domestic sales growth during the last three months was half that reported in the previous quarter.

Tesco shares were up 6.77% to 307.5p at 09:21 GMT today in the wake of a third-quarter trading update that showed the group's UK like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, grew by 2% during the 13 weeks to 22 November.

During Tesco's second quarter, like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 4%.

Tesco's moves to attract cash-strapped UK shoppers with more "discount" products helped lure in more shoppers but weighed on the retailer's sales figures.

Non-food sales, including clothing, have been hit harder by the downturn, but held steady during the quarter.

Tesco said its non-food performance was "significantly better than the market as a whole," adding that its "excellent value general merchandise retains a strong appeal to customers even in difficult times."

Tesco's group sales rose 11.7% thanks to "excellent" growth from its international operations. The retailer's Asian businesses helped drive a 28.1% jump in international revenues. At constant exchange rates, Tesco's international sales rose 14.6%.

Sales in Asia climbed 29.4%, while in Europe, sales rose 6% at constant exchange rates.

Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy insisted Tesco had made "solid progress" across the business during the quarter.

"We are pleased with our progress but we are also realistic - the current economic climate, and the strain this is putting on consumers everywhere, is something that all businesses are feeling, including ours."

He added that the retailer plans to focus on "becoming even cheaper for customers, keeping our costs low to help us to do this."