Tesco has announced “significant progress” in its performance after returning to annual profit and quarterly sales growth.

The grocery multiple reported pre-tax profit of £162m for the year to 27 February 2016, following a loss of £6.3bn last year.

UK like-for-like sales rose by 0.9% in the fourth quarter - its first quarterly sales rise for three years - while full year like-for-like sales fell just 0.6%.

However, over the course of the year the number of Tesco Express stores declined by three, with 29 units opening and 32 closing. Total store numbers declined by 25 to 3,460.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: “We have made significant progress against the priorities we set out in October 2014. We have regained competitiveness in the UK with significantly better service, a simpler range, record levels of availability and lower and more stable prices.

“More customers are buying more things more often at Tesco. As a team, we are committed to serving shoppers a little better every day, in what remains a challenging, deflationary and uncertain market.

“We are confident that the investments we are making are leading to sustainable improvements for customers whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders.”