The Russian subsidiary of Belgian brewer Interbrew, Sun Interbrew, has improved on its net loss in the first quarter last year by reporting a net loss of €8.8m in the first quarter of 2003. Last year it recorded a loss of €7.8m.

However the loss is higher than analysts' expectations of €4.1m.

The results were achieved on revenues of €82.9m, down from €84.1m in the same period last year.

In a statement, the Sun Interbrew, which is the country's second largest brewer said: "While the strength of the euro is likely to continue to affect our headline results, the underlying performance will continue to improve as we build volume back into our business and we also introduce higher margin products into our portfolio."

The company managed to raise its market share in Russia in the first quarter to 13.2%, compared to 11.8% this time last year.

And Sun Interbrew managed to increase its beer sales volumes Beer 11.2% on the year to 2.6 million hectolitres, while the market in general fell 5% in the period.