In the Tesco UK business, its third quarter like-for-like sales increased by 0.7%, representing its 12th consecutive quarter of growth.

Over the six weeks to 5th January 2019, like-for-like sales in both the UK & ROI businesses, including Booker, grew by 1.9% in the third quarter and 2.6% in the six-week period.

Customers responded well to the seasonal proposition, with quality and value perception up 3.5pts and 4.5pts respectively year-on-year.

Its ‘Festive 5’ vegetable offer also proved popular with customers, selling 19.7 million units over the three weeks to Christmas.

Other promotional offers included half-price lamb and beef joints, which contributed to like-for-like sales growth of 12.2% in total meat joints.

Dave Lewis, chief executive, explains: “As a team we have achieved a lot in the last 19 weeks. In the UK we delivered significant improvements in our competitive offer and this is reflected in a very strong Christmas performance which was ahead of the market.

“We have more to do everywhere but remain bang on track to deliver our plans for the year and as we enter our centenary we are in a strong position.”

Like-for-like sales in the Republic of Ireland were flat over the 19-week period, against a strong performance last year.

In Central Europe, excluding Poland, like-for-like sales grew for the 19 week period, including an increase of 1.1% for the Christmas period.

Seven fewer trading Sundays in Poland and additional public holidays at short notice in both Poland and Slovakia impacted like-for-like sales by 1.2%.

Tesco confirms it is confident in the outlook for the full year and are firmly on track to deliver the ambitions that it outlined in October 2016.

Full year results for the company will be available on 10th April 2019.