Asda and J Sainsbury to battle it out in crunch time for grocers

J Sainsbury and Asda will go head -to-head this week to show the City how they have been faring in the consumer downturn.<br /><br />Sainsbury&rsquo;s, Britain&rsquo;s third-biggest grocer, is expected to post a 16 per cent rise in first-half profits on Wednesday and warn of a tougher second half amid stiff competition.<br /><br />And Asda, owned by US giant Wal-Mart, is expected to say that profit growth has been stalled by a drop in food price inflation at its third quarter results.<br /><br />Sainsbury&rsquo;s, which runs over 500 supermarkets and around 300 convenience stores, is expected to report pre-tax profits of &pound;301m for the 28 weeks to 3 October. <br /><br />Data from TNS market researchers is tomorrow expected to show Tesco&nbsp; is starting to regain market share.