Tesco saw property profits jump 61% in its half-year results, as the damp summer slowed overall growth.

Profits from property-related items rose to £119m from £74m last year. This comprised a £121m profit in the UK and a £2m loss in Asia.

Overall, the company posted good figures, with underlying pre-tax profit jumping 14% to £1.3bn. However, underlying like for like sales grew by only 2.7%, the slowest rate of growth in seven years, with chief executive Sir Terry Leahy putting it down to the poor weather this year.

Tesco put the increase in profits down to the £600m property joint venture the company entered into with British Land in March, which forms part of a larger plan to release £5bn of value from its property portfolio.

The company said it plans to return some of the cash to shareholders and also fund its share buyback programme.

On future joint ventures the company said: ‘We are in discussion with potential partners to continue our divestment programme.

‘Appetite for Tesco's property and covenant remains strong and we expect to be able to complete further transactions on attractive terms in the months ahead.’