Fuel sales gave a marginal boost to Tesco’s performance in the UK in the last financial year, according to a disastrous set of annual results to February 28.

In its report published on April 22 it revealed that overall sales in the UK were down 1.7%, compared with the previous year, but when fuel was excluded from the figures the fall in sales increased to 1.8%. For the year as a whole, UK like-for-like sales excluding fuel declined by 3.6%.

In the UK it made a trading profit £467m for the year, on sales of £48.231bn, but this was wiped out by write downs on assets which resulted in a pre-tax loss for the group of £6.376bn.

Tesco said that due to challenging trading conditions it had posted an impairment charge of £3.8bn against its trading stores and it had written down the value of work in progress by £925m, primarily reflecting its decision announced in January not to proceed with 49 stores in its property pipeline.

Despite the closures, which mainly involved larger stores, it added 63 Tesco Express stores over the year to reach 1,735, and increased the number of its One Stop convenience stores from 722 to 770. It also predicted it would increase the size of its Tesco Express estate by 3.7% this year, and boost its One Stop estate by 1.2%.