MILAN, Italy (Nov. 8)—Pirelli S.p.A. reported increased sales and earnings for the third quarter and nine months, but the tire division´s margins eroded as rising raw material prices and flat pricing took their toll. Pirelli´s sales in the quarter grew 19.4 percent to $1.39 billion, based on 21.3-percent growth in cables and 17.6-percent growth in tires. Tire division operating earnings slipped 8.1 percent to $35.3 million, dropping the operating margin to 5.3 percent from 6.8 percent a year ago. For the nine months, tire division sales were up 12.4 percent over 1999 to $2.03 billion, while operating profits were up 3.5 percent. The company said recently announced price increases should help it recover its margins in early 2001.