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THERE is no doubt about it, the annual report of First Bank Holdings for 2012 financial year will be a reference point for the bank for a long time to come. Partly because it was a year all systems moved in the same direction and partly too because what was achieved as a total package will be hard to replicate.
In the first place, the shareholders who reportedly asked the company to ensure it reduces cost pressure believing that the top profit recorded for the year was

In 2008, the crash in the Nigerian stock market was traceable directly to Banks. All of them had just recapitalised primarily to beef up their issued capital base because then Central Bank Governor, Professor Charles Soludo wanted banks that can venture in the so-called big league or nothing. But, of course, big money base came with the need to manage such funds for optimum returns and at the least risk. That, as it turned out, did not quite follow.

Hence the bubble burst especially when a new CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Sanusi came aboard flying the new flag of real time risk management and accountability. It was discovered that many of them needed to adjust and in some cases, access huge funds, to prevent a run on the industry. Since then, all hopes for a recovery in the Nigerian stock market on the back of real recovery in the fortunes of the banking sector had been an annual ritual.

La Farge WAPCO, Nigeria's premier cement manufacturing company, is beginning to look as solid as the cement it manufactures to help people mix and use concrete for construction works. And to imagine that this was the same company, some years ago, that was at the crossroads and looked set to take the wrong turn into bankruptcy.

In those very trying times, WAPCO was weighed down by aging equipment hard to upgrade of replace because all provisions over the years had either been used up in day to day operations or ended up too little to do the job accountants had theoretically intended such provisions for.

Cadbury Nigeria PLC, unlike La Farge WAPCO, is a veteran in manufacturing products that you put in your mouths, lick your lips and feel of so yummy. In its own case, nothing as concrete as La Farge's but, believe me, it was yummy at least in 2012.

For Cadbury Nigeria , according to figures released recently, it was yummy in 2012 not because more core turnover was recorded but more because, unlike for La Farge, a great help was offered by leap in net finance income and some hands on achieved in administration expenses even as sales marketing costs hit new high.

AS far as Tripple Gee Nigeria PLC was concerned, the annual race for profit that is the lot of all companies, was well in the bag nine months into the year. According to the figures for the period released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange earlier in the year, by December 2012, the profit margin recorded was high enough not to be disturbed that drastically by any unbecoming events in the quarter to March 2013.

In fact but for the trend in 2012 financial year that led to decrease in profit margin from the one recorded in its first nine months, it would have been easy to expect Tripple Gee to make it triple 2012 bottom line when the final figures roll out soon for the full year to March 2013.

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