By Max Clarke

Strong performance in Asia, Europe, and increasingly in the US, has buoyed Tesco’s first half 2011 performance, seeing the retail giant deliver international growth 9.3%.

A surge in the popularity of Tesco’s ‘Fresh n Easy’ US branch- which increased its revenue by 21.9% over the last half- has seen the UK’s largest retailer increase its share of the important US market after initially struggling to grow profits- posting less than £500 million of the Group’s £67billion.

“Tesco has made a good start to the new financial year, despite consumer sentiment in many of our key markets remaining subdued,” said Tesco’s Chief Executive, Phillip Clarke. “The overall performance of our businesses in Asia and Europe has again been pleasing, led by further strong growth in Thailand and across our Central European region. Uncertainties remain but with early, encouraging signs of better performance emerging in both the UK and the US, I am confident that this start will provide the platform for another year of growth and rising return on capital employed for Tesco.”

Growth in the UK has slowed to 4.9%- largely subdued by reduced spending by UK consumers, while weakened consumer confidence has harmed growth in other markets- including Ireland.

Asia and central Europe continued to deliver strong growth- reaching 11.4% corrected for exchange rates, as sales in China and Thailand continue to expand.

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