C&C, maker of Magners cider, closed up more than 13% to close at €9.77 (£6.58) after reporting that first-half sales of the brand rose by 250%. The cider’s sales helped lift group’s turnover by more than a quarter and operating margins improved by about 4% despite higher marketing costs. Now C&C, which also owns the Bulmers brand in Ireland, is raising capital expenditure to increase cider production. Merrion analysts expect the group to spend €140m during the next two years to double capacity. The Daily Telegraph conducted a random taste test in a Wetherspoon’s pub in central London which backed C&C’s claims that women drinkers prefer Magners to more mainstream ciders, such as Strongbow. The Financial Times reports how C&C has been driving the renaissance in cider with apple orchards replanted, new brands launched and producers rushing to invest in capacity. Financial Times 02/09/06 page 12 (Lex), page 13 The Times 02/09/06 page 54 (Need to know) The Daily Telegraph 02/09/06 page 26 (DataBase), page 27, page 29 (Comment)