Total sales including petrol, and at constant exchange rates, slid 1.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to November 23, compared with the outcome in the same period last year, Tesco said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sales excluding petrol rose 0.6 per cent.
In the home market Britain, however, sales at stores open for at least one year and excluding VAT sales tax and petrol – a key barometer for investors – sank by 1.5 per cent.
Total British sales including VAT and excluding petrol rose by 0.9 per cent.
Tesco added that the third-quarter performance was in line with weaker growth seen across the British market, where Tesco faces intense competition and where household budgets are under pressure.
“Continuing pressures on UK household finances have made the grocery market more challenging for everyone since the summer and our third quarter performance reflects this,” said CEO Philip Clarke in the statement.
He added: “Overseas, the near-term trading environment also remains tough, most notably in Thailand, but we have been able to drive a better performance in Poland and Turkey.”