Tesco is "ahead of the curve" in dark lagers, according to Budweiser Budvar UK.

The company made the statement as it announced sales of its Budweiser Budvar Dark lager had trebled in the past year. The Czech-made brand is now worth £3m in the UK, thanks to increased distribution and a national listing with Tesco signed 12 months ago.

The company plans to double sales again in three years by capitalising on the trend for dark lager with on-pack promotions and media support.

Budweiser Budvar Dark (rsp: £1.69) was gaining popularity particularly among 18 to 25-year-old men and was part of a developing sector for Tesco, claimed Budvar UK.

"Tesco is ahead of the curve with dark lagers," said Jon Whittle, sales director. "By supporting more niche brands such as ours, it is creating the environment of a genuine off-licence in store."