Tesco has reported strong growth in its overseas markets for the first quarter of 2011 and said it expects further gains across the board during the rest of the year.
Total international sales for the 13 weeks to May 28 increased by 9.3 per cent year-on-year, excluding petrol. Overseas sales were up by 8.6 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 21.9 per cent in Asia, Europe and the United States respectively.
Tesco group sales for the three-month period increased by 6.7 per cent year-on-year, excluding petrol.
In the UK, consumer confidence is weaker, and while the supermarket experienced total sales growth of 4.9 per cent on the same period in 2010, like-for-like sales excluding petrol and VAT fell by 0.1 per cent. Tesco said there remained a "cautions consumer environment" in Britain.
Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco, said: "The overall performance of our businesses in Asia and Europe has again been pleasing, led by further strong growth in Thailand and across our Central European region.
"Uncertainties remain but with early, encouraging signs of better performance emerging in both the UK and the US, I am confident that this start will provide the platform for another year of growth and rising return on capital employed for Tesco."
Mr Clarke also used the company's first quarter management statement to highlight the "excellent performance" seen in new stores \ figures which are not included in the like-for-like sales statistics.