Ryland Group Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based home builder, reported sharp drops in earnings for both the second quarter and first half of 1981 and a slight increase in sales.

Second-quarter earnings were $984,000 (32 cents a share), down 36 percent from last year's $1.53 million (49 cents). For the half, net income fell to $1.44 million (47 cents) from $2.8 million (90 cents). Sales, in terms of new-house settlements, rose for the quarter to $61.1 million from $56.7 million last year, while results for the half show an increase to $113.9 million from $109.6 million last year.

Chairman James P. Ryan said that "while the housing industry looks bleak," the company expects good results from projects in Orlando, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C.

Ryland also declared a quarterly dividend of 18 cents a share, payable July 30 to shareholders of record July 15.

Stanwick Corp. reported a loss for the year ended April 30 of $639,000, compared with a loss of $3.23 million the previous year. But sales for its fiscal year were $19.8 million, up 77 percent from $11.2 million the previous year.

Stanwick, still smarting from assets and business lost during the Iranian revolution, supplies skilled tradesmen and technical services in shipbuilding and other industries. It is based in Arlington.

For the quarter ended April 30, Stanwick posted a loss of $276,184, compared with a loss of $517,939 the previous year. Sales went up to $4.60 million from $3.75 million a year earlier.