Diageo is looking to almost double Guinness sales in Germany - Europe's largest beer market - within the next three years.

The UK drinks giant said today (12 May) that it expects Guinness sales to have leapt by almost 29% in the year to 30 June, reaching around 116,000. Diageo is aiming to hit 200,000 hl by 2009.

A Diageo Germany spokesperson said sales of Guinness had fallen in the country since the height of its popularity in the mid-1990s due to being sold for 40% more than the average pint in Germany. A higher price meant it was "risky" for bars to invest in the tapping technology required to serve Guinness, she added.

However, she told just-drinks that Diageo's investment in the technology behind serving Guinness would help the brand reach consumers outside its traditional heartland of Irish-themed pubs and into more German pubs and bars.

"Ultra-sound technology will allow bartenders to achieve the perfect serve in all bars, while retail outlets will sell 0.4l cans of Guinness with a floating widget," she said.

The spokesperson added that Guinness sales could also benefit from a recent change in Germany's controversial deposit law. Retailers will now be forced to pay back a deposit to consumers even if they did not buy their beer from that outlet.

Diageo is looking to extend the distribution of Guinness to 2,500 more pubs by the end of the year and 10,000 more by 2007. However, the spokesperson refused to be drawn on the level of Diageo's investment behind Guinness in Germany.