Newton-based appliance giant Maytag says it was able to wring out a 23-percent increase in sales for the fourth quarter, but overall earnings still ended down from last year. Maytag chairman and C-E-O Ralph Hake says overall sales were up eight-point-two percent, but the company’s stock earnings were about half of last year’s three-dollars and seven cents. Hake expects the revenue picture to improve in 2002, as Hake predicts overall sales to increase 12 to 15-percent and earnings to increase by 20-percent. Hake says 2001 was more important strategically than it was financially, as Maytag purchased Amana. Hake expects the Amana division to add 20-cents per share to Maytag’s earnings this year.