A busy few days for British retailers is set to be marked by a £2 billion profits haul from the UK's biggest supermarket chain, Tesco.

But all eyes will also be on Marks & Spencer as its travails continue.

Tesco is likely to become the first UK retailer to break through the £2 billion annual profits barrier when it reports tomorrow, with the City expecting a haul of £2.04 billion for the 12 months to February 26 against £1.66 billion a year earlier.

Simon Proctor, of broker Charles Stanley, said recent data did not suggest any slowdown in sales and Tesco should able to build on its market leadership even if Morrisons recovers and Sainsbury's cements its recent revival.

Marks & Spencer guided the market towards lower profits of between £600 million and £625 million when it announced trading figures in January, including markdowns for its Easter sale in a £40 million provision for the second half of its financial year.

This has made analysts more confident that it will have met its revised targets for the current year, but many are worried that the consensus forecasts for the new financial year of around £700 million are still too high.

A fourth quarter trading statement from M&S tomorrow should offer some guidance and commentary on the current retail environment, which has already led retailers such as Boots and Jessops to warn on profits.

Analysts at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein believe poor trading conditions and heavy price-cutting will see clothing sales weaker.

Catalogue retailing group GUS has faced the challenge of reviving sales at its Argos chain following a sharp slowdown in growth over Christmas as competition intensified and UK retail demand waned.

However, a strength of GUS is its diversity of operations and growth at credit checking business Experian remains healthy with market share being captured from rivals.

Analysts at JP Morgan expect a trading statement from GUS on Thursday to reiterate pretax profits targets in line with its estimates of £925 million and against a reported figure of £827 million for the previous 12 months.

Fashion retailer Austin Reed is expected to report losses on Thursday, but the forecast deficit of £6 million --against profits of £1.2 million in 2004 - could be offset by evidence of a recovery at womenswear chain Country Casuals.

The division has been repositioned to reflect the younger tastes of the over-40s market with figures in October suggesting early signs of a turnaround. Moss Bros ended its financial year on a positive note after like-for-like sales rose seven per cent over the Christmas period and its brands of Moss, Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss all reported good sales growth.

Results on Wednesday will show the benefit of a recent turnaround strategy as profits are forecast to hit £5.25 million, compared with £1 million a year earlier. In February the market pencilled in £8 million for next year, although trading conditions will have deteriorated since then.