Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 07:49 UK

Tesco sales make 'solid progress'

Customer outside Tesco store
Food sales are holding up but non-food sales growth is slowing

Supermarket giant Tesco says UK sales made "solid progress" in the first few months of the financial year.

Excluding petrol, like-for-like sales - which strip out the impact of new stores - were up 3.5% in UK stores during the 13 weeks to 24 May.

The growth was in line with Tesco's forecasts and analysts' expectations.

However, Tesco said that while UK food sales remained strong, the rate of growth in non-food sales had slowed as consumers reined in their spending.

Total UK sales grew by 9.4% in the quarter, while sales from its international operations increased by 26.6%.

"We've made a good start to the financial year thanks to the growing breadth of the group and the strength of the Tesco business model - this has been achieved despite the more uncertain economic environment," said Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy.

"Our international operations continue to grow strongly... We also made solid progress in the UK."

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