Tesco admitted that sales have suffered in the past few days due to the severe weather but insisted that its UK performance had gained momentum over the past quarter.
Like-for-like sales were up 1.5% in the UK over the three months to 27 November, with overall UK sales up 5%.
“Like-for-like sales in the UK will get more positive," said finance director Laurie McIlwee.
"There's a good, steady, slow recovery going on in the UK. It's hard to call what the fourth quarter will be like, but it will be an improvement in like-for-like sales and we still feel there's good growth for us in the UK."
Across the group, total sales were up by 8.8%, driven by rapid growth overseas.
The Asian business notched up growth of more than 23%, while like-for-like sales in the US, where Tesco has historically struggled to turn a profit, were up almost 10%.
“We’ve made good progress in the third quarter with growth from across the group,” said chief executive Sir Terry Leahy. “Our continued investment in the shopping trip and our new space-opening programme are giving us good sales momentum and market share gains.
“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.”
Snow causes Tesco roof collapse (6 December 2010)
Retailers battle on in big freeze mark two (3 December 2010)
Asda gets back on growth track in third quarter (16 November 2010)