Tesco bank
Tesco’s recovery gained traction as its strong Christmas trading helped it notch up its eighth consecutive quarter of growth Toby Melville/ Reuters

Tesco's recovery gained traction as strong Christmas trading helped the supermarket notch up its eighth consecutive quarter of growth.

The UK's biggest grocer said group like-for-like sales lifted 1.5% in the 13 weeks to 26 November year-on-year, buoyed by a strong performance among its fresh food ranges. Same stores sales at its core UK operations rose 1.8% in the same period.

During the Christmas period, the six weeks to 7 January, UK like-for-like sales lifted 0.7%, with party food sales jumping by almost a quarter on a year ago.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: "We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group. In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas."

Trading at Tesco marks a turnaround after a torrid couple of years at the business, when it posted the biggest loss in its history and was hit by a £326m accounting scandal.

Lewis, who has been leading an overhaul since he took over from former boss Philip Clarke in 2014, aims to slash costs by £1.5bn over the next three years to help boost margins and return the group to bottom-line profit growth.

Britain's so called Big Four supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrison – have been locked an intense battle for market share against discounters such as Aldi and Lidl for several years.

Earlier this week Sainsbury's said its same-store sales across the group only edged up 0.1% in the period. Although, it added total sales at Sainsbury's rose 0.8%, while total sales at Argos lifted 4.1%.