BRADFORD-ON-AVON, England (Nov. 30)—After suffering a 29.7-percent drop in operating earnings for fiscal 2000, Avon Rubber P.L.C. expects improved results in 2001 from its investments and cost-cutting measures, the company said. Avon´s restructuring measures have raised the share of sales achieved outside of the United Kingdom to 70 percent, from 66 percent a year earlier. For Avon´s fiscal year ended Sept. 30, operating profits fell to $24 million, from sales of $433 million, some 4.4 percent higher than a year ago. Avon blamed the lower profits on the strength of sterling against the euro, a depressed automotive market and the cost of commissioning of new facilities. Sales volume in North America fell slightly, but a new product development center at Avon North America´s automotive headquarters in Cadillac, Mich., should help the company gain new business, Avon said.