Tesco has reported strong trading, with like-for-like sales in the UK and Republic of Ireland rising by 2.6% over the Christmas period, and 1.9% in its third quarter.

Tesco UK saw its twelfth consecutive quarter of growth with a 0.7% rise in like-for-like sales.

The company also said that it managed to improve its customer offer by relaunching over 74% of its own branded products.

Online like-for-like sales also grew by 2.6% over the Christmas period, which included the company’s biggest ever sales week in online grocery.

Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: "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.

“In Central Europe, the reshaping of our business continues and we are confident of the outcome we envisaged. In Asia, negotiations with suppliers are concluding satisfactorily and we can see this in our simpler, clearer, more impactful offer for customers.

“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."