Sainsbury's the supermarket retailer announced in its first quarter trading statement that the online groceries business has grown by almost 20 per cent.

Sainsbury's said its online business was delivering "record levels of service" and in the 12 weeks to 12 June 2010 has taken a record of 120,000 weekly orders.

The growth of the online business was the fillip to a slightly downcast report from the British retail giant. Like-for-like sales were up by a modest 1.1 per cent and total sales increased by 7.6 per cent. Commentators say this is the lowest increase in quarterly sales from the supermarket company in five years. There was no direct comment from Sainsbury's on this, but as with the Tesco results yesterday, low food inflation is said to be the cause.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury's said the results were a "good performance ahead of the market," he also said the results are good because of, "our focus on operational a challenging consumer environment."

Tesco reported growth of 0.1 per cent in the UK, which it said was low due to food cost inflation. Group sales for the 13 weeks to 30 May 2010 increased by 8.2 per cent, the major rival to Sainsbury's reported.