For the 26 weeks ended August 24, revenue edged up 1.9% to £31.914bn from £31.306bn in the previous year.

Profit before tax declined to £1.387bn from last year’s £1.814bn. The group’s sales, including VAT, rose 2% to £35.6bn.

Underlying profit before tax from continuing operations was £1.466bn, while it totaled £1.583bn in the prior-year period. Profit attributable to owners of the parent dropped to £820m from £1.235bn.

Total UK sales increased 1.1% to over £24bn. Like-for-like sales, slid 0.4% as sales growth was flat in the second quarter after a drop of 0.8% in the first quarter. Total sales in Europe grew 1.2% to £5.35bn and declined 3.1% at constant rates.

Commenting on the figures Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said despite continuing challenges, the company made further progress on its strategic priorities.

"Our online grocery businesses have continued to perform well across the Group, and we are now offering the service in over 50 cities across nine markets outside the UK," Clarke added.

Sales in Asia increased 7.7% to £5.54bn and advanced 2% at constant rates, amid regulatory restrictions on opening hours in Korea.

"The investments we have made to improve our offer for customers in the region are already starting to take effect and we expect a stronger second half as a result," Clarke said.