Although many retailers have watched the effects of recession move from their sales line to their bottom line, Peoples Drug Stores managed to increase its profits 14 percent on only an 8 percent gain in revenues, company officials reported yesterday.

Earnings in the second quarter, ended April 10, rose to $1.2 million (29 cents a share) from $1.03 million (27 cents) in the second quarter last year. Revenues grew to $151.3 million from $140.1 million.

For the first half, Alexandria-based Peoples had profits of $5.6 million ($1.41), compared with $5.1 million ($1.33) in the first half of fiscal 1981. Revenues grew to $366.8 million from $347.3 million.

It was also disclosed yesterday that Peoples Chairman A.C. Israel has resigned as chairman of ACLI International, the commodity trading firm he founded and has run for years. Israel sold ACLI to the brokerage of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. a few months ago. Israel's decision to retire from ACLI will not affect his role as Peoples chairman, a spokesman said.

Bowl America reported slightly lower profits of $702,309 (52 cents) for its third quarter, compared with $731,777 (54 cents) in the similar period last year, while revenues increased to $5.09 million from $5.05 million.

Bowl America's nine-month earnings were $1.2 million (90 cents), compared with $1.1 million (84 cents) the year before. For the first three quarters, revenues grew to $12.9 million from $12.2 million.

Biospherics Inc., based in Rockville, lost $48,045 in the first quarter this year, compared with profits of $15,944 (one cent) last year. First quarter revenues declined to $1.2 million from $1.4 million in the same period last year.

President Gilbert V. Levin said the firm had reduced operating staff and stepped up marketing to avoid further poor performances this year.