Sainsbury’s has announced its results for the year ending 31 March 2013, with underlying pre-tax profit up 6.2% to £756m, and sales up 4.6% to £25.6bn.

The retailer’s market share stands at 16.8%, driven by 33 consecutive quarters of like-for-like for growth.

2012, then, was a year of steady growth for the UK’s third biggest supermarket, in which it expanded its convenience real estate, extended its Brand Match price comparison service, and capitalised on its sole sponsorship of one of the year’s biggest sporting events – the Paralympic Games.

Flying the flag for British products helped the retailer cash in on last year’s Jubilee, driving a 1.4% rise in like-for-like sales in its first quarter.

Sainsbury’s grew sales slightly ahead of the market in the week leading up to the Jubilee, as retailers rang in an extra £213m.

Indeed, Sainsbury’s made sure it was everywhere during the Jubilee, with sponsorship of the boat pageant, a tree-planting scheme and the Jubilee beacons. Other events were less successful – its two-day Family Festival in Hyde Park in June attracted complaints from disgruntled parents cheesed off with long queues and high prices.

Back in stores, Sainsbury’s completed the refresh of its own-label By Sainsbury’s range, which began in 2010 and won the own-label range of the year award at The Grocer Gold Awards last year. The company also picked up the online retailer of the year prize. (In September, it even pulled off an unprecedented perfect score in The Grocer 33 mystery shopping survey, thanks to its Livingston store.)

Sainsbury’s wasn’t afraid to cause waves in 2012, as well – in June, it stunned the tobacco industry with a decision to quit selling tobacco in some of its Scottish stores.

In November, the company hit a milestone with the opening of its 500th Sainsbury’s Local c-store, with CEO Justin King promising in March that more were to come - including 50 in London and the South East alone.

As 2013 rolls on, it is King himself who has become the focus of attention at Sainsbury’s, with the retailer repeatedly denying that he is about to step down after nine years in charge (with a job as boss of Formula One a favourite rumour). King has said he is committed to the company, but as the recent speculation about another high-profile manager has shown, talk of succession plans can become distracting.