SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY), North America's largest foodservice marketer and distributor, yesterday announced a 40 percent increase in earnings per diluted share to $0.21 for the fiscal 2001 third quarter ended March 31, 2001. This compares to $0.15 per diluted share for the same period last year. Sales for the quarter rose 13.2 percent to $5.3 billion, compared to the $4.7 billion reported for the third quarter of fiscal 2000. Net earnings of $139.4 million represented a gain of 37 percent over last year's third quarter net earnings of $102.0 million.