WEINHEIM, Germany (May 31)—Led by double-digit growth in North America, Freudenberg Group´s sales increased 6.3 percent last year over 1998 to $3.86 billion. Net earnings rose 17.8 percent to $111.7 million, improving the net/sales ratio to 2.9 percent. Freudenberg´s North American activities increased sales 26.7 percent to $1.18 billion. Freudenberg-NOK G.P. accounted for $850 million of the North American sales, an increase of 16.6 percent over 1998.