Sainsbury's and Next will be among the highlights this week as the retail sector remains in sharp focus.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's is expected to reveal more sales cheer tomorrow after the chain emerged relatively unscathed from the recent horse meat crisis.

The group was the only one of the big four supermarkets to increase its market share as its rivals suffered amid the food scandal, recent data from Kantar Worldpanel revealed.

Most analysts are forecasting like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, to rise by 2.3% for the 10 weeks to March 16.

This would be a significant improvement on the 0.9% rise over the Christmas period and puts smaller rival Morrisons firmly in the shade after it recently reported back on a difficult fourth quarter.

Retail chain Next has already set the scene for decent annual results on Thursday after it weathered difficult conditions to post a 3.9% hike in festive sales.

An 11.2% jump in sales at its online operation was behind the performance, although trading in its stores was also better than forecast, up 0.8% in November and December.

Next said its robust Christmas trading had put it on track for profits growth at the top end of expectations, pencilling in a jump of between 7.1% and 9.6% in pre-tax profits to between £611 million and £625m for the year to January.

Investors will be keen for news on whether sales remained robust throughout the snow in January.

Next has already forecast sales growth of between 1.5% and 4% for the forthcoming financial year, with underlying profits also up.

Designer fashion brand Ted Baker will reap the rewards of a recent expansion drive to increase its store space and internet offering when it posts results on Thursday.

Analysts are expecting a double-digit profit hike, pencilling in a 17% jump in pre-tax profits to £31.6m after a year of robust sales.

The solid performance marks a further improvement on the 12% profits leap seen in 2011 and comes after Ted Baker bucked the gloomy economic climate by expanding across the UK, US and Asia.