Citicorp reported yesterday that a 32 percent jump in its fourth-quarter net income helped produce earnings for the year of $541.4 million ($4.34 a share), up 15 percent from 1978 earnings of $469.8 million ($3.79). The bank holding company is the second largest in the United States.

Fourth-quarter net was $154.7 million ($1.24) compared with $117.2 million, (94 cents) a year earlier Income before securities transactions for the quarter was $154.2 million ($1.23) against $118.5 million (95 cents). Income before securities transactions for the year was $544.2 million, ($4.36) compared with $481.6 million $3.88).

Citicorp's total capital grew 24 percent during the year to $5.9 billion, and its loan volume climbed 20 percent to $63 billion. Net commercial loan losses were $60 million, down 46 percent, while the percentage of net loan losses to average commercial loans was 0.13 percent, the lowest for any year in the 1970s.

Celanese Corp. reported a 25 percent gain in earnings for 1979 to $9.52 a share from $7.61 in 1978.

Net income was $141 million on sales of $3.1 billion compared with $112 million the previous year on sales of $2.61 billion.

But fourth-quarter profits fell 22 percent to $1.85 a share from $2.36 a year ago in spite of an 18 percent sales gain to $814 million from $687 million. Net income dropped to $27 million from $35 million.

President John D. Macomber said weak demand and poor prices for nylon and polyester fibers and plastics were the big causes of the fourth-quarter slump. But cellulose fiber demand was strong.

Another cause of the late downturn was poor demand for resins for automobile coatings and piping systems.

The gains for the whole year reflected a general overall improvement in the chemical market, Macomber said.

Trans World Corp. said that a 50 percent increase in its airline fuel costs reduced 1979 net earning to $8.6 million from $86.6 million a year earlier and produced a fourth-quarter loss of $43.8 million.

The fourth-quarter results compared with a loss of $12.1 million a year earlier. Operating revenues for the period were $1.07 billion against $912 million.

The 1978 earnings were equal to $4.54 a share but the lower 1979 income was insufficient to cover preferred stock dividends. Operating revenues for the year rose to $4.33 billion from $3.7 billion.

Chairman L.E. Smart said a $242 million hike in the airline's 1979 fuel bill produced a "significant loss" for the subsidiary, while each of TWA's nonairline subsidiaries acheived record earnings for the year. Their pre-tax profits came to a total of more than $93 million.

Union Carbide Corp. reported yesterday that it earned $8.47 a share last year compared with $6.09 a share in 1978 on a rise in sales to $9.18 billion from $7.87 billion. Net income was $556.4 million, up 41 percent from the $394.3 million earned in 1978.

Fourth-quarter earnings were $131.9 million ($1.99 a share) on sales of $2.39 billion compared with $127.9 million ($1.97) a year earlier on sales of $2.09 billion.

Sales of Kraft Corp. topped $6 billion for the first time last year, but a 70-cents-a-share loss on discontinued operations cut earnings to $6.71 a share despite a 9.5 percent gain in operating profit.

The giant food processor announced yesterday that 1979 net income was $188.09 million on sales of $6.43 billion compared with net income of $184 million ($6.57) on sales of $5.67 billion in 1978.

Fourth-quarter net income was $25.7 million (92 cents) on sales of $1.62 billion compared with 43.69 million ($1.56) a year earlier on sales of $1.45 billion.

General Foods Corp., the largest domestic coffee processor and a leading producer of packaged convenience foods, reported a 24 percent decline in profits for the three months ended last Dec. 29.

Earnings dropped to $52.5 million ($1.05 a share) from $69 million ($1.38) in the same period a year before, partly because of a drop in earnings from its "Pop Rocks" and "Cosmic Candy" carbonated candies. The company said the products showed strong sales following their introduction as novelty items, but demand later fell.

Sales during the third quarter of fiscal 1980 rose 10 percent to $1.5 billion from almost $1.4 billion for the similar quarter in fiscal 1979.

For the first nine months of fiscal 1980, earnings rose 12 percent to $196.3 million ($3.93) from $175.3 million ($3.51) as sales advanced 9 percent to 4.4 billion from $4.0 billion.

3M Co. said it had a 16.4 percent rise in profits last year and a 13.5 percent gain in the final quarter

Net income for the year was $655.2 million ($5.59 a share) on sales of $5.44 billion compared with $563 million ($4.83) in 1978 on sales of $4.662 billion.

For the final quarter, profits were $167.2 million ($1.43) on sales of $1.367 billion compared with $147.2 million ($1.26) a year earlier on sales of $1.118 billion.

Lewis W. Lehr, vice chairman of 3M, said both dometic and international operations contributed to the good results.