UK retail giant Tesco has reported an acceleration in sales growth during the third quarter of its fiscal year.

The UK's leading supermarket operator said sales had grown by 11.8% during the three months to 24 November, outstripping first-half growth of 9.2%. The company added that the growth had been driven by all parts of its strategy.

Tesco said its growing international operations have delivered "excellent growth", while its core UK business had made "solid progress", and non-food ranges had performed well.

"We've maintained pleasing progress during the third quarter across the group," said CEO Sir Terry Leahy. "Overall sales growth has strengthened in the period, with International delivering a particularly strong performance, and the UK has again done well, with good growth in our core food categories. Our first Fresh & Easy stores in the United States have been very well-received by customers."

International sales were up by 21.4% at constant exchange rates, with Asia performing particularly strongly, the company said. Tesco also reported rapid growth in all of its central European markets.

In the UK, Tesco said total sales had increased by 7.6%, with like-for-like sales up by 4.1% excluding petrol.