The troubled UK cider group, HP Bulmer, suffered a further slump in its share price following newspaper reports suggesting that the group was unable to pay its suppliers in full. Bulmer shares fell by 20% on the adverse speculation.

The newspaper reports alleged that Bulmer wanted to pay its supplier farmers half of an agreed amount for its 70,000-tonne crop of apples, with the balance to be paid next year. Bulmer has not commented on the story.

On Friday morning, Bulmer shares slid to a low of 71 pence, recovering to 82.5 pence, valuing the company at £44m.