Woodward & Lothrop reported a 27 percent jump in second quarter profits, from $1.6 million (66 cents per share) to $2.05 million (84 cents), producing record first half profits for the shington department stores.

Woodies' sales for the three months ended July 29 increased 7.5 percent over the previous year to $58.5 million from $54.5 million. Sales for the first half were up 4.3 percent, to $113.8 million from $109.2 million.

Earnings for the half were $3.28 million, ($1.35 per share) up 7.1 percent from the $3.06 million ($1.26 per share) of the previous year.

Chairman Edwin K. Hoffman noted the company's sales increased in the second quarter but said the gains continued to be held back by remodeling underway in both downtown Chevy Chase stores.

"Continued emphasis on expanse control plus a reduction in inventory shortage also contributed to the record profit performance," Hoffman said.

The 7.5 percen sales increase was even bigger than the company had expected, said Robert J. Mulligan, senior vice president for finance. As a policy Woodward & Lothrop budgets expenses closely, he explained. "When the sales are good, we get better flowthrough to the bottom line."

The opening of the company's 14th store, at the Lakeforest Mall in Montgomery County in September, should continue to boost sales. And Hoffman said Woodward & Lothrop executives are "optimistic that 1978 operating results will exceed those of the prior year."

Best Products Co., the Richmondbased catalog showroom chain, reported earnings increased to $22.5 million ($2.56 per share) from $16.8 million percent ($1.93) for the fiscal year ended in June.

Sales for the year grew to $527.7 million, from $403.4 million the prior year. Best had 53 showrooms at the end of the latest year, up from 45 a year earlier. The company said sales of existing showrooms increased 13.6 percent during the year.

Allegheny Airlines reported earnings for the month of July increased 82 percent, to $3.05 million from $1.68 million for the same month last year.

More than half the increase, $815,000, was from sales of flight equipment, which contributed only $58,000 to the previous year's results.

Allegheny's revenues for the month were $49.8 million, 17 percent more than the $42.6 million of the previous year. For the first seven months of 1978, Allegheny's revenues were up 18 percent, to $317.2 million from $269.9 million.

Earnings for the seven months were $16.3 million, up from $5.22 million, including $9.5 million from equipment sales, which contributed $259,000 the prior year.

American Realty Trust reported yesterday a sharp improvement in earnings for the third quarter and nine months ended June 30.

The Arlington-based real estate investment trust listed third-quarter profits of $59,059 (3 cents a share) compared with a loss of $203,105 in the same period last year. Revenues rose to $1.6 million from $1.5 million.

For the nine months, ART posted a substantial turnaround from last year's loss of $407,865 with profits of $1 million (46 cents a share). Nine-month revenues were flat at $4 million.