Latin American brewing force, Quilmes Industrial SA, posted a US$23.5m loss for the first quarter on net sales some 49% down at US$155m. The Luxembourg-based group recorded a net profit of US$21.6m in the first quarter of last year. The company said it had been hit by lower beer volumes resulting from adverse economic conditions in certain Latin American markets. Beer volume sales fell from 3.84m hls to 3.31m hls.