Carl M. Freeman Associates, a residential and commercial developer based in suburban Maryland, has reported record profits during 1978.

Earnings of the Potomac company rose 233 percent to $1.4 million ($1.00 a share) from $429,496 (30 cents) in 1977 as sales increased to $14.4 million to $10 million.

Freeman Associates also declared an initial cash dividend of 10 cents a share.

Chairman Carl Freeman said the sales performance at current projects is "strong." At the Inverness Townhouse complex in Potomac, 67 units of 300 planned houses have been sold while at Sea Colony near Bethany Beach, Del., 112 condominium units were sold during the year and the 108 unit Harbour House was more than 50 percent pre-sold as construction continued.

The company said further residential construction will start next summer for a 264-unit single-family housing community in Rockville, called Orchard Ridge.

Freeman's Cabin John Mall has been fully leased for office space and 80 percent occupied in the retail sector. The first phase of a 120,000-square-foot Van Dorn Plaza center in Alexandria, to open next February, is 40 percent leased, Freeman said.

Hazelton Laboratoies Corp., a rapidly expanding environmental and scientific firm in Vienna, reported record profits in the third quarter ended March 31.

Earnings rose 17 percent to $256,000 (17 cents a share) from $304,000 (15 cents) a year earlier as revenues increased 23 percent to $8.2 million. For the first nine months of the company's fiscal year, earnings were $1.05 million (50 cents a share) vs. $890,000 (49 cents, with fewer shares outstanding) and revenues rose to $26.5 million from $21.8 million.

Bowl America Inc., a Springfield-based operator of bowling centers, reported that heavy snows in February cut deeply into profits for the month and reduced earnings for the nine months ended April 1 to $973,000 (70 cents a share) from $1 million (73 cents). Revenues were $10.6 million vs. $10.56 million. Third-quarter earnings were flat at $602,460 (43 cents) and sales were unchanged at $4.3 million.

Criterion Insurance Co. earnings declined in the first quarter to $828,000 (57 cents a share) from $902,000 (62 cents) in the same period last year.

The Washington automobile insurance firm said losses from underwriting policies widened to $742,000 from $352,000, while investment income was relatively flat at $1.35 million compared with $1.32 million.

Financial Security Group Inc., a property and casualty insurance company of International Bank of Washington, reported first-quarter profits rose slightly to $1.88 million (63 cents a share) from $1.85 million (62 cents). Not counting investment gains, however, earnings were up 20 percent.

Written premiums rose 8 percent to $28.4 million but the company suffered an underwriting loss of $57,000 compared with year-earlier profits of $384,000.

Republic Van Lines Inc., of Baltimore, reported a loss of $1.17 million for 1978 and said its auditors have warned that the company may not be able to continue in business. Republic's loss was less than a $1.65 million loss the previous year but revenues declined to $22.4 million from $23.8 million.

The company said auditors have qualified the financial reports because of substantial losses in the two years, defaults on the company's revolving credit loans, and "a severe liquidity problem."

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust had its first-quarter earnings of $660,979 (44 cents a share), up to 29 percent from $513,375 (34 cents) a year ago. WRIT's dividend was increased to 53 cents a share from 49 cents, starting with a June 29 payment to owners of record June 5.

Capital Mortgage Investments of Chevy Chase earned $249,295 in the first quarter compared with $817,919 a year earlier, when the trust had an extraordinary gain of $1.1 million. CMI reduced its reserves for possible loan losses after setting a claim against a bonding company but remains in default under a loan agrrement with six banks.

Riviere Realty Trust of Washington reported first quarter earnings of $93,095 (12 cents a share) compared with $98,714 (13 cents) from operations a year ago. Chairman Joseph Riviere said the small decline reflected higher than normal vacancies at two apartment complexes, higher heating costs at an office center and higher interest rates.