MUSCATINE, Iowa (Jan. 28)—Bandag Inc.'s net income for the fourth quarter rose to $17.5 million from $17.4 million in last year's fourth period. The company recorded sales of $231 million for the quarter, down from $246.3 million in 2001. Net earnings fell to $2.8 million for the year, after taking into account an accounting charge of $47.2 million, from $43.8 million last year while sales fell to $900.5 million from $949.3 million. Bandag's traditional retreading material and equipment business improved as the year progressed, according to Chairman and CEO Martin G. Carver. He said he was encouraged "by some signs of fourth-quarter strength in the marketplace, particularly in North America," and he expects improvement as 2003 progresses.