Profits at Tesco were up 13.2% to £2.55bn, on group sales up 10.9% to £46.6 billion, it announced today. Group trading profits, which do not include property and exceptional items, were up 11.1% to £2.48bn: a profit margin of 5.3%.

In the UK, sales were up 9% to £35.58bn, with UK trading profits of £1.91bn - 9.2% ahead of the previous year.

International sales increased at an even faster rate: up 17.9% to £11bn, with profits also up 18%, and international new store openings increased by 8.2m sq ft compared with 2m sq ft in the UK.

Sales on the website showed a 29.2% rise, while UK non food sales jumped 11.6%. Sales of organic food grew at four times the rate of similar non-organic products.

In the final quarter, UK like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 5.8%, up from a 5.6% rise in the third quarter.

“Tesco is investing for the future and delivering today,” said Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco.

“These results demonstrate that we have again made good progress across the group, whilst making significant start-up investment in new business and coping well with challenging conditions in some markets.”

Meanwhile, Colin Holmes, chief executive of Tesco's convenience business has stood down to take an eight-month sabbatical.