DESCRIPTION: National retail conglomerate with 207 stores in 7 chains: 7 Garfinckel, 21 Brooks Brothers in United States and one in Japan, 8 Harzfeld (based in Kansas City), 32 Ann Taylor, 104 Catherine's Stout Shoppes, 22 Miller & Thoads (Richmond-based) and 12 Miller (Knoxville) (NYSE, Phila.). PROFITS PER SHARE (FISCAL YEAR ENDED FEB. 2, 1980): $3.40. DIVIDENDS: $5.53 million ($1.24 a share since raised to $1.30 a share annually) Founded: 1905. Top executives: David Waters, chairman; Manuel Rosenberg, president; Robert Vandemark, vice chairman.

Improved earnings reflected a decrease in the federal statutory tax rate, a higher investment tax credit and a substantial improvement in inventory shortage results. Earnings were adversely affected by generally higher expenses, particularaly interest costs and by the LIFO method of accounting on certain inventories. Garfinckel's, which celebrated 75 years in business in 1979, will continue with its internal and external expansion plans in 1980, with a goal of $800 million in annual sales by 1983. Ambitious growth is planned within several operating companies, particularly Brooks Brothers, Garfinckel's, Miller & Rhoads and Catherine's. Waters said that the company's letter of intent to acquire Frost Bros. in the Texas market shows "out plan to expand externally through the acquisition of profitable retailing companies that will broaden out geographic reach and further strengthen out operations." In its first venture outside the Washington area, Garfinckel's will open a new store in the Annapolis Mall this summer. In addition, stores are under construction in the Fair Oaks mall in Fairfax and in Georgetown Park, a D.C. mall being built near the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW.