Tesco has reported a record statutory pre-tax loss of £6.4bn for the 53 weeks to 28 February, ending what chief executive Dave Lewis described as "a very difficult year".
Annual group trading profit was down 60 per cent to £1.4bn, compared with £3.3bn a year earlier, making it the third year in a row in which the supermarket has reported falling profits.
However, Lewis claimed that with like-for-like sales volumes up for first time in over four years “more customers are buying more things at Tesco.”
“Over the last six months we have put customers back at the centre of everything we do. By focusing on the fundamentals of availability, service and targeted price reductions, we have seen a steady increase in footfall, transactions and, most significantly, volumes,” he said.
The business was plagued by problems over the past year, including a £263m profits overstatement which continues to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
“The market is still challenging and we are not expecting any let up in the months ahead. When you add to this the fundamental changes we are making to our business and our offer, it is likely to lead to an increased level of volatility in short-term performance,” he continued.