The chief executive of Tesco's UK business, Richard Brasher, is to step down over poor sales, Sky News reported on Wednesday night.

Brasher took on the role around a year ago but is expected to leave the company in 2012.

Philip Clarke, who is currently Tesco's group chief executive, will then assume responsibility for the UK business, according to the report.

Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, announced plans to open new stores and create 20,000 new jobs in the UK over the next two years as it battles back from its first profit warning in living memory made in January.

Tesco, which has been the dominant force in British retailing for more than a decade, is tackling a drop in its UK market share that has fallen to levels not seen since 2005.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)