Somerset cider producer Merrydown experienced a 52% upturn in supermarket sales of its ciders over Christmas but MD Chris Carr insisted it was not just down to the Magners factor.

"We've had a terrific year and exceeded expectations," he said. "It is true Merrydown performed well on the back of cider's general revival but not all brands can say the same. It would be wrong to put it all down to Magners."

Merrydown was the third- best performer of the top 10 cider brands, losing out only to Magners and white cider Frosty Jacks. "We saw a 42% increase in consumer pick-up, which amounted to 46% growth by value," Carr said.