Reynolds Metals Co. yesterday reported record third-quarter profits of $46.6 million ($2.44 a share), reflecting "strong growth across a broad range of markets."

The Richmond-based aluminum manufacturer, which earned $19 million (97 cents) in the same period last year, said the sharp increase in profit ability accompanied a spurt in sales to $733 million from $593 million.

For the first nine months, Reynolds earned $797 million ($4.12) compared with $63 million ($3.41) a year ago and sales rose to $2.06 billion from $1.8 billion. Alumimum shipments totaled 935.950 compared with 917,870 tons last year, an increase only because of the third-quarter spurt.

Chairman David Reynolds said production schedules for the fourth quarter are strong "and for certain products they extend well into the second quarter of next year." He noted particular sales gains for cans, foils and fabricated products.

Not coming foreign currency transactions for the year, 1978 will be the best in the firm's history, Reynolds added. The company's earnings included foreign currency translation losses of about $5 million in the first nine months of 1977 and losses of $27.5 million in the same period this year.