Tesco has reported a 3.5% increase in first-quarter like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, despite a “more uncertain” economic environment.

Total UK sales rose 9.4% in the 13 weeks to 24 May, with group sales up 13.7%.

Although core food categories had shown good growth, the rate of growth in non-food had eased, Tesco said.

“Consumers have become more cautious with their spending during recent months,” said CEO Sir Terry Leahy.

International sales increased by 26.6% at actual exchange rates and by 13.9% at constant rates. Performance had been particularly strong in Europe, where sales grew by 32.4% at actual rates.

“Core food categories showed good growth as we helped customers spend less at a time when household budgets are becoming stretched,” Sir Terry added. “The business has also coped well with the more cautious mood on non-food spending.”

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