Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said yesterday that a $51.4 million earnings boost from foreign currency translations hiked its 1981 profit by 12.7 percent to $260.3 million ($3.59 a share) from $230.7 million ($3.18) in 1980 as sales increased to $9.2 billion from $8.4 billion.

Fourth-quarter earnings for the nation's largest tiremaker were $46 million (63 cents) compared with $78.9 million ($1.09) for the comparable 1980 period. Sales rose to $2.25 billion from $2.21 billion.

Foreign exchange translations accounted for 71 cents a share of the 1981 profit and for a decrease of $13.4 million (19 cents) in fourth-quarter net income.

Goodyear improved its market share at home and abroad because of increased replacement tire sales and through efficient use of production facilities, inventory controls and cost reductions, officials said.

General Telephone & Electronics reported yesterday that its 1981 net income increased more than 50 percent to $722 million, while earnings per share were $4.32 compared with $2.95 the previous year. Sales totaled $11 billion, up 10 percent from 1980.

Results for 1980 included a loss of $141.4 million, (93 cents a share) from the disposition of GTE's consumer electronics business.

Fourth-quarter profits from continuing operations were $190.2 million ($1.11) compared with $177.7 million ($1.10) for the prior year. Sales were $3.1 billion compared with $2.7 billion.

GTE Chairman Theodore Brophy said the higher 1981 results reflect the company's continuing efforts to reduce costs, improve productivity and raise prices.