HANOVER, Germany (Oct. 31)—Despite continuing losses by Continental Tire North America Inc., Continental A.G. reported improved operating and net earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30. For fiscal 2002, Continental anticipates a slight increase in sales, and based on the nine-month results, expects full-year earnings will be considerably above the 2001 level. Conti did not elaborate on its losses in North America, other than to say the "unsatisfactory" tire business earnings in North America will force the company to amortize Conti Tire North America's remaining goodwill of $47 million. It will be shown as expenditure in the fourth-quarter operating earnings of both the passenger and commercial tire divisions, Conti said. Operating earnings for the nine months jumped 77 percent to $536.7 million, while net profit was up 49 percent to $213 million after accounting for one-time restructuring charges. Sales in the January-September period rose 3 percent over the 2001 period to $8.3 billion, although nearly all the gain was because of the first-time inclusion of sales from the automotive systems supplier Conti Temic.