October 13 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian state-run railways company BDZ ended the first nine months of the year with a loss of 20 million levs ($15 million/10 million euro) and expects to double it by the end of 2009 due to decreased passenger and cargo traffic, state-run BTA news agency reported on Tuesday.
The company’s current debt totals 150 million levs, BTA quoted BDZ’s Executive Director, Pencho Popov, as saying. Comparative figures were unavailable.
BDZ's passenger traffic fell by 7.00%-8.00% and cargo traffic decreased by some 45%, Popov said. He added that the worsening financial results are mainly due to the financial crisis and the closure of Bulgaria’s largest steel mill Kremikovtzi, which used to generate around a quarter of BDZ's cargo traffic.
BDZ began laying off 1,330 employees on October 1 and plans to cut another 700 jobs next year, Popov said.
The railways company turned to a net loss of 9.15 million levs last year, from a 24.13 million lev profit in 2007, local daily Dnevnik (www.dnevnik.bg) reported in July.
(1 euro=1.95583 Bulgarian levs)