LONDON — Tesco Plc., the world’s No. 3 retailer, said overseas markets drove a 7.2 percent rise in third-quarter sales and it was seeing a pick-up in demand in its main British market heading into the Christmas period. The grocer, which trails French peer Carrefour SA and U.S. market leader Wal-Mart Stores Inc. by revenue, said on Tuesday sales at British stores open more than a year rose 1.5 percent, excluding fuel and including VAT sales tax, in the 13 weeks to Nov. 27. Finance Director Laurie McIlwee said British growth picked up to 3 percent by the end of the third quarter and could improve further in coming weeks.
Tesco, which runs more than 5,000 stores in 14 countries, said third-quarter sales rose 7.2 percent excluding fuel and at constant exchange rates. That included an 11 percent rise overseas. As well as good growth in Asia, Tesco reported a 9.8 percent increase in like-for-like sales in the United States and underlying growth in all its European markets for the first time in three years.