CARY, N.C. (June 25)—Despite suffering measurable dips in sales and earnings last year, Lord Corp. expects to report sales growth in all its operating units and continued improvements in profitability this year. For fiscal 2001, Lord's net income fell 24.3 percent to $25.1 million and operating income was down 17.8 percent to $42.4 million as sales fell 8.7 percent to $403 million. Lord said its two main businesses, the mechanical and chemical divisions, suffered declines related to the general business slowdown of 2001. The declines accelerated after the Sept. 11 tragedy, Lord said in a letter to shareholders. Despite the earnings declines, Lord it is "positioned to emerge from the soft economic conditions with a strong finance base and the ability to pursue new initiatives to support our long-term strategy." At year-end 2001 and during early 2002, Lord made three acquisitions to bolster its mechanical and chemical divisions' capabilities.