Tesco made a pre-tax profit of £1.42bn in the six months to the end of August, and the supermarket is confident it is well-placed for the global economic recovery.

Group sales were up 8.3% on the first half of 2008/09 to £30.4bn, while UK sales increased 2.8% to £20.65bn, the interim results revealed.

The supermarket said that, while the retail economy remained subdued, customers were showing signs of greater optimism, with improving growth in some of its “more discretionary” food lines such as Finest.

“Inflation has reduced across the sector as we pass the anniversary of last year’s high commodity prices and, although this has impacted our like-for-like sales growth a little in the second quarter, the effect has been partially offset by strengthening volume growth,” a statement said.

Tesco was confident its strategy of low prices, discount brands and Clubcard reward points was working. Performance and market share were improving relative to rival supermarkets, it said.