Dutch retail giant Ahold has reported operating income before goodwill and exceptionals of €677m (US$722.8m) for the first half of 2003, down 48.4% from the year-ago period. Operating income before goodwill and exceptional items excluding currency impact fell 38.6% mainly as a result of lower earnings at its US Foodservice unit and certain European retail units, as well as higher audit, legal and consultancy fees, Ahold said.