HANOVER, Germany (July 31)—Continental A.G. expects a significant improvement in operating and net earnings for fiscal 2002 following double-digit increases in both during the six months ended June 30. Conti reported a 70-percent jump in consolidated operating earnings to $311.5 million thanks to lower raw materials costs and the positive effects of restructuring. Sales rose 2.9 percent to $5.1 billion on a 17.9-percent jump in business by the Continental Automotive Systems division. Tire sales, on the other hand, were down. Sales by the Passenger Car division, which comprises the passenger and light truck tire activities in Europe and North America, fell 5.6 percent to $1.63 billion, while commercial vehicle tire sales fell 0.9 percent to $572.7 million. ContiTech's sales fell 3.2 percent to $809.7 million.