Tesco has announced a record statutory pre-tax loss of £6.4bn for the year to the end of February.
It compares with annual pre-tax profit of £2.26bn a year earlier and is the biggest loss suffered by a UK retailer and one of the largest in the country’s corporate history.
Around £4.7bn of the losses were the result of the fall in property value of its UK stores, 43 of which it said would close earlier this month. The decline in the value of its property portfolio comes as a direct result of declining footfall in many of its out of town superstores.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis admitted it had been “a very difficult year for Tesco.”
He added: “The results we have published today reflect a deterioration in the market and, more significantly, an erosion of our competitiveness over recent years. We have faced into this reality, sought to draw a line under the past and begun to rebuild, and already we are beginning to see early encouraging signs from what we’ve done so far.”
He added that he expected conditions in the coming financial year to remain challenging.