Cider drinkers stay loyal


BRITAIN'S leading cider maker, HP Bulmer, yesterday said it had avoided the hangover caused by the surge in alcopops which had afflicted its rivals to return increased half year profits.

During the six months to October 25th, the firm, which makes brands such as Strongbow and Scrumpy Jack, upped its pre tax figure to £17.4 million sterling before exceptionals, compared with £13.9 million at the equivalent stage last year.

The interim dividend goes up to 4.9p from 4.55p in 1995.