Sainsbury’s has reported like-for-like sales in its first quarter up 1.1% excluding petrol in the 12 weeks to June 12.

Total sales in the first quarter were up 7.6%, and like-for-like sales excluding petrol for the first quarter were up 8.2% on a two-year basis.

The slowdown in like-for-like sales comes as high petrol prices and low food inflation hits the grocers. Tesco yesterday also reported the same like-for-like sales figure, excluding petrol, up 1.1%, but for the 13 weeks to May 30.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: “Our focus on operational excellence has been key to our success in a challenging consumer environment. Our groceries online business has continued to deliver record levels of service and availability which, given our store-pick model, represents the purest measure of on-shelf availability for customers. As a result, groceries online sales continued to grow by just under 20% and took a record 120,000 weekly orders.

“Nectar has consolidated its position as the UK’s no.1 loyalty scheme with around 17 million registered card holders and regular Sainsbury’s users are up over 800,000 versus this time last year. Nectar and coupon at till are proving to be a winning combination enabling us to deliver relevant and targeted offers which our customers really value.”

King said its non-food offer “continues to perform strongly” and that it had its “biggest ever week in clothing” during the quarter. He added: “Our World Cup range is selling well and our Vuvuzela horns are a ‘must have’ item for football fans.”