Harman International Industries Inc., the Washington-based maker of consumer electronics equipment, said a slowdown in purchases of big-ticket items like home audio and video equipment and automobiles carrying Harman's car stereo systems reduced the company's profit 9 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30.

Harman International said it earned $14.1 million ($1.61 a share) during the year, down from $15.4 million ($1.78) a year earlier. Sales rose 6 percent, to $556.7 million from $524.2 million the previous year.

"Fiscal 1989 had been an excellent year -- a record year -- but 1990 was adversely affected by the sharp fall in automobile sales and the soft consumer durables market in the United States," Chairman Sidney Harman said in a statement. However, he added, "Despite the difficult market environment, we achieved earnings which approached 1989 levels."

In the fourth quarter, Harman International earned $2.4 million (27 cents), down 36 percent from $3.8 million (44 cents) a year earlier. Sales in the period rose 11 percent, to $151 million from $135.8 million a year ago.

James River Corp., the Richmond-based pulp and paper company, reported a loss of $85 million for the first quarter ended July 29, compared with a gain of $57 million (64 cents a share) for the same quarter last year.

The loss, however, takes into account charges of $144 million for a major restructuring program. Excluding those charges, the firm said it had a first-quarter profit of $59 million (65 cents), an increase of 4 percent from last year. Revenue in the first quarter decreased 4 percent, to $1.41 billion from $1.47 billion in the same quarter last year. The company said sales dropped because of divestitures made in April 1990.

As part of its restructuring program, the company is divesting and phasing out some of its operations, including its specialty industrial papers business, its industrial paper and coated-printing paper operations and two towel and tissue mills.

END NOTESPHP Healthcare Corp., an Alexandria firm that sells medical services and supplies to the Pentagon and other federal and state agencies, reported a 77 percent increase in earnings before extraordinary items for its first quarter ended July 31. Earnings before extraordinary items increased to $824,000 (25 cents) from $466,000 (12 cents) for the comparable quarter the previous year.

In the first quarter of 1989, the company took an extraordinary charge of $750,000 due to settlement of a shareholder lawsuit. As a result, net income in the first quarter this year compared even more favorably, at $824,000 (25 cents) versus a loss of $284,000 in the first quarter of last year. Revenue in the quarter increased 36 percent to $22.9 million from $16.8 million for the same quarter last year.