Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers, Miller & Rhoads Inc. yesterday reported a 135 percent increase in second quarter profits and an 81 percent gain in earnings for the first half of the year.

The Washington-based retail company earned $903,000 (19 cents per share) in the three months ended July 29, up from $385,000 (8 cents) for the same period a year earlier.Sales increased to $86 million from $68 million.

For the first half of the year Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers reported earnings of $2,080,000 (44 cents) up from $1,132,000 (25 cents) as sales increased to $166 million from $131 million.

David Waters, chairman and president of Garfinckel Brooks Brothers said significant sales improvements, better gross margins and lower expenses contributed to the improved earnings.A major - but unspecified - share of the gains came from the acquisition since last of Ann Taylor and Catherin's Stout Shoppe, two specialty store chains.

In an interview earlier this week with Reuter news service, Waters said securities analysts' estimates that the company's earnings would increase from $261 a share in 1977 to about $3 this year, "appear conservative." Sales, he predicted, will climb from $330 million to $400 million.

A 20 percent annual increase in sales and profits is one of the key goals the company has set for itself.

Waters said he did not expect the sales and earnings gains in the second half of the year to be as big as those of the first half, because last year's second half was strong, providing a high base for comparison.

The May Department Stores, the St. Louis chain that owns The Hecht Company in the Washington-Baltimore area, reported increased operating income for the latest three and six month periods, but said earnings were lower because of the cost of acquiring new operations and disposing of old ones.

The May chain said earnings from continuing operations increased to $13.7 million (66 cents per share) from $12.0 million (54 cents) for the three months.

But net income fell to $10.6 million (47 cents) from $11.9 million (54 cents) after extraordinary items for the disposal of its Consumers Distributing catalog showrooms and opening 12 new Venture discount stores.

The Venture stores were purchased from the Jewel Companies' Turnstyle division and converted to Venture units this summer.

The catalog showrooms are to be sold later this year to the firm that had been May's partner in the venture, Consumers Distributing of Canada.

The May company said taking over the block of discount stores cost the equivalent of 5 cents per share in profits and the reserve for the disposal of the showrooms cost the equivalent of 14 cents per share.

For the first half the chain reported earnings from continuing operations of $20.8 million (93 cents) up from $20.8 million (89 cents) a year ago.

After accounting for the Venture and Consumers Distributing transactions, the company earned $17.3 million (77 cents) compared with $19.3 million (85 cents) a year ago.

Riviere Eealtly Trust said its operating income for the six months ended June 30 increased to $229,000 (29 cents a share) from $136,000 (17 cents) last year and a gain of $34,000 on the sale of property boosted total earnings to $264,00 (33 cents per share).

Net income for the second quarter for the Washington-based REIT was $130,000 (16 cents) compared with $87,000 (11 cents) in 1977.