Drug Fair, Inc. yesterday reported a 4.6 percent increase in sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, but said profits fell by almost 24 percent, from $2.9 million ($1.65 per share) to $2.2 million ($1.27 per share).

"During the 1978 fiscal year, we were able to achieve a substantial improvement in gross profit," said Drug Fair President Milton Elsberg."Unfortunately, this was exceeded by the increase in our operating expenses."

Sales of the 165-store drug chain and its related subsidiaries increased from $229.4 to $240 million for the 12 months.

For the final quarter of its fiscal year Drug Fair reported sales increased from $57.8 million to $60.8 million, but earnings fell from just over $1 million (59 cents) to $397,000 (24 cents).

One factor in Drug Fair's lower earnings was the chains diversification efforts, which included opening three Scoops ice cream parlors, three Soup'r Scoops ice crean and sandwich shops, and eight Wrangler Wranch clothing stores last year, along with six new and 19 remodeled Drug Fair stores.

Seven more drug stores will be opened during 1978 and leases have been signed for eight additional drug stores, Elsberg said. Eight new Wrangler Wranches, fifteen more Scoops and Soup'r Scoops and remodeling of about 30 drug stores are planned for this fiscal year.

Drug Fair's directors yesterday declared the regular 10 cents per share cash dividend, payable Nov. 30 to shareholders of record Nov. 15, and approved a change in the fiscal year to end the last Saturday in January.

Hechinger Company reported an 18.5 percent increase in both sales and earnings for the second quarter ended July 29. Earnings increased to $570,000 (20 cents per share) from $481,000 (17 cents) and sales grew to $28.8 million from $24.3 million.

For the first half of its fiscal year, Hechinger profits were just over $1 million (36 cents), up 13 percent from last year's $900,000 (32 cents) as sales increased almost 11 percent, to $52.7 million from $47.6 million.

Yesterday Hechinger opened its first store in Pennslyvania, at Lancaster, after opening a unit in Baltimore earlier in the week. The two additions gave the Washington home improvement center chain 21 units.

Two more Pennsylvania store will open in the next two months and construction is to start this fall on stores in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va. and Glen Burnie, Md.

Wapora Inc., a Washington-based energy and environmental consulting business, reported earnings for the year ended June 30 increased to $132,000 (22 cents per share) from $92,000 (15 cents).

Revenues increased 25 percent to $4.5 million from $3.6 million. Dr. J. I. Bergman, Wapora's president, predicted continued growth in the firm's specialty - preparing environmental impact studies.

Neotec, Inc. reported that a doubling of revenues in the second quarter enabled the Washington analytical instrument maker to turn operating losses into profits for the quarter and the first half of the year.

Neotec said revenues for the three months ended July 30 increased from $850,000 to $1.7 million producing pretax earnings of $137,000 (30 cents per share) against a loss of $217,000 (48 cents) the previous year.

For the first half, Neotec reported revenues of $2.9 million - up from $2.2 million - and a $244,000 profit (54 cents) against a $145,000 loss (32 cents).

American Health Services Inc. reported its third-quarter net income increased to $342,000 (40 cents per share) from $248,000 (29 cents) while revenues grew to $5.4 million from $4.8 million.The Washington firm owns and manages hospitals and nursing homes.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, AHS said it earned $765,000 (90 cents) up from $395,000 (46 cents) as revenues increased to $15.6 million from $14.3 million.

The Student Loan Marketing Assn. - known as Sallie Mae - reported after-tax earnings for the first half of 1978 increased to $2.2 million ($13.59 per share) from $1.8 million ($10.56 per share).

Sallie Mae is the privately-owned, government-sponsored corporation which provides a secondary market in government guaranteed student loans. The company said it assets increased to $685 million from $437 million while the amount of loans it purchased grew to $341 million from $233 million.