Tesco has made what it called a “solid start” to the year after reporting a 4.3% UK like-for-like sales increase excluding petrol for the 13 weeks to 30 May.

The UK’s largest retailer said its £150m Clubcard re-launch had also achieved a strong performance and more than a million customers had taken advantage of an offer to double the value of their money-off vouchers.

“We’ve made a solid start to the financial year, maintaining good momentum in a challenging economic climate – by investing in our offer for customers and adjusting our businesses well locally to meet their changing needs,” said chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.

“We are also keeping a strong focus through the downturn on our long-term strategic objectives.”

The like-for-like growth is slightly ahead of some analysts’ predictions but behind the performance of rivals Morrisons and Asda, which both achieved improvements of around 8%.

Sainsbury’s, which announces its first-quarter numbers tomorrow, is expected to notch up like-for-like growth of more than 7%.

Tesco’s international sales grew 20.1% at actual exchange rates. Its US business saw sales grow by 174%, although it has still to make a profit, while revenues rose by 43.8% in Asia, buoyed by favourable exchange rates and a strong performance in Korea.