Merrydown has announced a cut in its first half losses with cider improving for the first time since 1998. Sales for the group increased by 17% to £9.68m from £8.29m for the same period last year.

Turnover for cider rose by 1% for the company, the first growth in five years.

Pre-tax loss for the first half was down to £75,000 from £428,000 for the same period last year.