UK grocery retailer Tesco recorded an 8.2% sales rise in third-quarter sales today (7 December), as growth was driven by its international operations.

For the quarter ended 27 November, international sales were up 15.7%, as the UK’s largest retailer said its overseas businesses matured, supported by an “improving global economy”.

In the UK, sales were up 5%, including VAT and excluding petrol, for the quarter.

Meanwhile, like-for-like sales improved to 1.5%, including VAT and excluding petrol. Tesco said it recorded the improvement despite inflation staying low “for much of the quarter”. The company also cited a “strengthening performance as we exited the quarter” from its UK business.

Tesco recorded strong growth from its Asian operations, with sales up 23.4%. Like-for-like sales rose 4.3%, slowing slightly on the 5% recorded in the second quarter.

The company saw sales grow 38.5% in the US, where like-for-like sales reached 9.8%, which it attributed to increased customer numbers.

CEO Terry Leahy said: “As the global economic recovery gathers pace, our broad-based strategy, combined with our ongoing focus on productivity savings, is enabling us to maintain growth in a sustainable, profitable way – delivering value for customers and for shareholders.”

Shares in Tesco were up 1.8% at 427.7p at 09:33 GMT this morning.