Back from a few days in Dublin where I learnt more about their Viking history and the background to them becoming a Republic. If you are there I would recommend the Hop on Hop off bus tour as a good way of getting around and seeing the sights and learning more about them. On one of these I also heard that Bono, the lead singer of U2 got his stage name from a hearing aid shop in Dublin called Bonavox - which apparently means good voice in Latin.
Talking of which hopefully I'll be back now refreshed and in good voice. So with that in mind I've also gone all 21st century and added a Twitter feed just in case you want to follow my blog there or tweet about any entries.
Further on voices, thanks to all those who took the time to voice their opinions on the site in my survey. If you should still wish to leave feedback and take my short survey, you can still do this via the link on the right hand side of the blog page below my photo. That would be really helpful for me to improve the site and as they say in Ireland "thanks a million!"
With that in mind, I have now replaced the feedback page with a Portfolio page where I have posted some information on the performance of my Stocks and Shares ISA which I hope you will find interesting. You can also sign up there to be kept informed about future updates to this and any new services based on it that I may offer in the future.
While I was away there was not too much to worry about and as I have written about before - thanks to Investegate I was able to keep up to date with announcements from my holdings. Of these Persimmon reported some strong numbers in their IMS with total forward sales revenue 35% higher than in 2013 (£1.38 billion) as the UK housing market continues to bubble away. There did however seem to be some profit taking in some part of the the Mid 250.
One of these, the Restaurant Group is receiving £7m of cash proceeds in respect of the disposal of its interest in the Living Ventures Group following the sale of the Gusto business and the resulting profit on disposal will be treated as an exceptional item in TRG's next results announcement. The net proceeds of the disposal will be distributed by way of a special dividend of 3.45 pence per share to shareholders on the register as at 20 June 2014. This special dividend will be paid, together with the 2013 final dividend of 8.75 pence, on 9 July 2014 and the shares will be marked ex-dividend on 18 June 2014. This helped to support their shares but they still look a bit expensive, albeit with a slightly better yield now (2.7%) because of the special.
Finally in a strange quirk of timing, while I was at the Guinness Storehouse Brewery (see picture below taken from the bus), their parent company Diageo reported some disappointing sales on the back of weakness in emerging market currencies and consumer demand. This is a slightly concerning trend since consumer demand in emerging markets has been the bull case for many stocks with exposure to these markets. It will be interesting to see what Unilever have to say in this regard when they report this week.