Otto Versand GmbH, the mail order arm of Otto Group and the world's second largest online retailer, expects the Internet to account for 20 per cent of its total sales within the next decade.

The company says it is standing by its online strategy, even though this year's global sales growth is likely to fall sharply from its more usual double-digit figures.

Michael Otto, chairman of the family-owned retail company, said the Group was on target to hit a 2.5 per cent sales growth this year, and double its online sales.

For the first half of the year ending 28 February, the company posted sales of 2.1 billion marks world-wide, including 1.1 billion marks in Germany.