The UK's largest supermarket company Tesco has said group sales rose 12% in the third quarter, driven by growth in all parts of its business.

"The core UK business has delivered another strong performance, sales and market share in non-food have increased, our international operations have continued to make good progress and our retailing services businesses have grown fast," Tesco said.

UK sales grew by 12.3% for the 14 weeks to 20 November 2004 compared to the year-ago period, with like-for-like growth of 9.8% and 2.5% from net new stores. Like-for-like sales growth excluding petrol was 7.5%.

International sales grew by 18.2% at constant exchange rates and by 11.9% at actual rates in the third quarter.

"We expect the contribution of new space to sales growth to strengthen in the final quarter due to the phasing of new store openings. 1.4 million square feet of new selling area, representing almost 50% of the total space planned to open outside the UK during this financial year, will begin trading in the fourth quarter," Tesco said.