Tesco has announced a slower rate of sales decline in the first quarter of the financial year.

The multiple posted a 1.3% drop in UK like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to 20 May 2015, an improvement on the decline of 1.7% and 5.5% in the previous quarter and second quarter of 2014/15 respectively.

It said the results followed “significant deflation” driven both by its own price investments and weakening commodity markets.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said the results represented “another step in the right direction”.

“We set out to serve our customers a little better every day and the improvements we are making are starting to have an effect,” he said.

“We are fixing the fundamentals of shopping to win back customers and relying less on short-term couponing. Customers are experiencing better service, better availability and lower, more stable prices and are buying more things, more often, at Tesco.

“These improvements have come during the restructuring of our office and store management teams, which testifies to the focus, skill and commitment of colleagues across the business. We have also seen an improved performance in our international markets, as we continue to focus on serving customers better.”