The seven-day wildcat strike Metro strike last month cost the transit system about as much as it saved - $1.2 million - according to Metro's general manager.

Theodore C. Lutz told Metro's governing board yesterday that savings in salaries, fuel and other costs associated with the strike offset the losses in revenues between July 19 and July 25.

Thus, the overall financial impact of the strike on Metro was to leave unaffected the $300,000-a-day operating deficit that the system runs, according to a Metro spokeswoman.

According to Lutz, ridership on Metrorail for the week of Aug. 4 was about 94 percent of what it had been before the strike and ridership on Metrobus was about 96 percent of its prestrike level.

Lutz also reported on disciplinary action taken by Metro in the wake of the strike. Ten employes, he said, were dismissed; 86 were suspended for one to nine days; another 54 were reprimanded; and no action was taken against another 97 employes after investigation found that "available information did not sustain the charge."

Last week, an arbitration panel convened to settle a dispute between 4,800 unionized bus and subway employes and Metro ruled that the transit system owed those employes a cost-of-living increase. The increase comes to 17 cents an hour.

The wildcat strike was precipitated by Metro's refusal to pay the increase and the slowness with which the transit system and Local 689 of the Amalgamated Transit Union resolved the dispute.

Although the strike had little or no apparent financial impact on Metro, several large downtown department stores reported that business had fallen off sharply during the strike.

Woodward & Lothrop reported sales fell off as much as 40 percent compared to a year earlier at the downtown store. Morton's stores, which specialize in moderately priced family apparel, also reported sales down at all three stores, by 40 percent or more.