PHH Group Inc., a major vehicle-leasing and relocation-management-services company based in Hunt Valley, Md., reported that profits rose 29 percent to record levels in the fiscal year ended April 30.

Earnings totaled $16.1 million ($2.51 a share) compared with $12.5 million ($1.98) in the previous year as revenues rose to $280 million from $197 million.

Chairman John Lailey noted that the substantial increases were achieved although an accounting change in the third quarter reduced net income for the year by $845,000. He cited, in particular, major business gains in vehicle-related services provided by subsidiaries National Truckers Service and Peterson, Howell & Heather.

Universal Security Instruments Inc., an Owings Mills manufacturer of burglar and fire alarm systems, reported a sharp reduction in losses for the year ended March 31. As sales rose 22 percent to $7.9 million, the loss was trimmed to $267,458 from $1.1 million in the previous year.

In a press statement, Universal said the introduction of new products in helping turn the company around from its loss performance. In the recent six months, losses were cut to $75,000 from $470,000 a year earlier, while sales jumped to $5.1 million from $3.5 million.