Gulf & Western Industries Inc. reported yesterday that net earnings for its second fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31 rose to $40.38 million (79 cents a share) from $35.15 million (68 cents) a year age.

The conglomerate said revenues climbed to just over $1 billion from $877.7 million reported in the previous year.

For the six months, G&W said net income fell to $79.48 million ($1.55) from $89 million ($1.74) on sales of $2.011 billion, up from $1.754 billion.

G&W said all of its groups reported operating profits for the six-month period, with strong gains achieved by apparel products, centering on Kayser-Roth Corp., and by financial services.

The leisure-time group, led by Paramount Pictures, whose recent film releases include the successful "Saturday Night Fever," also reported a sharp increase.

G&W's autaomotive replacement parts group reported that its operating income for the six months remained about the same as in the previous year due to temporary shut-downs at some distribution centers because of winter storms.

G&W's manufacturing, natural resources, consumer, agricultural products and paper and building products groups reported declines caused by weakness in energy markets, depressed zinc and sugar prices and weak demand for commodity grade paper products.

H.J. Heinz Co., a processed foods manufacturer, reported a 15 percent rise in profits for its third quarter, and said it was "well on its way to reaching its 15th consecutive year of sales and earnings gains."

Heinz said its profits for the third quarter ended Jan. 25 were $19.9 million (85 cents a share), up from $17.3 million (73 cents) in the third quarter a year ago. Sales rose 18.6 percent to $523.6 million from $441.2 million.

For the first nine months, profits were $63.2 million ($2.68), up to 20 percent from the year-ago period's $52.5 million ($2.21). Sales rose 14 percent to $1.53 billion from $1.34 billion.