Farm and heavy equipment manufacturer International Harvester posted a 98 percent profit increase during fiscal 1979 over the previous year, the company said yesterday.

Almost half of the increase was based on sales gains and operating improvements, said Archie R. McCardell, chairman and chief executive officer, and Warren J. Hayford, president and chief operating officer.

Other factors included changes in United Kingdom tax laws and fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies.

The profit increase for the year ended Oct. 31 brought earnings to a record $369.9 million on a 25.9 percent gain in sales to $8.4 billion, also a record.

Net income for the year equalled $12.01 a share, compared to $6.14 in 1978.

Fourth-quarter profits increased by 102.1 percent over the comparable period the previous year, reaching $147.6 million on a 19.9 percent sales gain to $2.5 billion.

Beatrice Foods Co. sales, earnings and earnings per share for both the third quarter and the nine months ended Nov. 30 achieved records for the 18th consecutive year, James L. Dutt, chairman and chief executive officer, said yesterday.

Sales for the quarter rose to $2.1 billion, an increase of 7 percent from $2.0 billion for the comparable prior year period. the prior year figures include approximately $50 million in sales of companies digested and not included in the current year.

Net earnings increase 10 percent to $77.2 million from $70.3 million. Earnings per common share increased to 75 cents from 68 cents, a gain of 10 percent, fully diluted earnings per share increased 9 percent to 71 cents from 65 cents.

For the nine months, sales rose to $6.2 billion from $5.5 billion; a gain of 12 percent over the prior year. Net earnings increased 11 percent, rising to $224 million from $202 million.

Earnings per common share increased to $2.18 from $2.03, a gain of 7 percent, fully diluted earnings per share rose 6 percent to $2.07 from $1.96.

Pillsbury Co. reports that net income rose 30 percent in the second quarter of its fiscal year ended Nov. 30, compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Net income for the latest quarter was $34.8 million ($1.73 per share) up from $26.8 million ($1.53) in the same period of last fiscal year, the company said Wednesday.

Sales climbed 53 percent, to $803.3 million compared with $523.9 million.

Pillsbury said results of the prior fiscal year did not include Green Giant, which merged with Pillsbury last Feb. 28.

The latest quarterly report was a record for earnings and sales.