Danaher Corp., the Washington-based holding company controlled by local investors Mitchell and Steven Rales, said its profit fell 42 percent in 1990.

Danaher's net income for the year was $35.7 million ($1.34 a share), compared with $61.1 million ($1.98) in 1989.

Sales rose 12 percent to $839 million from $749.1 million.

One-time events affected earnings in both years. In the final quarter of 1990, the company took a restructuring charge of $8.5 million to cover the cost of plant closings and employment reductions in its transportation business.

And in 1989, Danaher had a one-time gain of $3 million from the sale of a subsidiary.

Also, per-share earnings figures were affected because the company issued additional stock in connection with its acquisition of Easco Hand Tools Inc.

In the final quarter of the year, net income after the restructuring charge was $1.7 million (6 cents).

The quarterly net-income figure compared with $26.5 million ($1.13) in the same quarter of 1989, which included $14 million in earnings from discontinued operations.

Sales for the quarter rose 27 percent to $226.5 million from $178.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier.