Dart Group Corp., the Landover-based holding company for the Haft family's retail companies, yesterday reported a 23 percent gain in its profit for the fiscal second quarter. For the first six months of the fiscal year ended July 31, its earnings rose almost 8 percent.

A spokesman for Dart attributed the gains to better results from two of the retail chains it controls -- Trak Auto Corp. and Crown Books Corp. -- that have recently reported higher earnings from the opening of new stores and general sales gains.

Another Dart corporate keystone, the Shoppers Food Warehouse chain, has made some modest gains in its share of the Washington area grocery market, and boosted revenue and earnings, the spokesman said.

Dart said its second-quarter profit totaled $3.2 million, compared with $2.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Per-share income rose to $1.70 from $1.37, and revenue gained almost 18 percent, to $266.8 million from $226.2 million.

In the first half, the company earned $5.5 million ($2.93 a share), compared with $5.16 million ($2.72) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue gained almost 16 percent, to $504.6 million from $434.5 million.