MUSCATINE, Iowa (July 30)—Bandag Inc.'s earnings tumbled 46.1 percent in the second quarter as the company worked through a "difficult operating environment." Bandag reported second-quarter earnings of $9.5 million while first-half net earnings of $11.8 million were 57.2 percent below those of 2000. Consolidated net sales of $244.8 million for the quarter and $454 million for the half were off 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. Chairman and CEO Martin Carver said although tread volume was down overall, improvement was seen in most geographic areas, particularly North America. He said the company expects current economic conditions to remain challenging for the remainder of the year.