August 20 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian state-run railway company BDZ said on Thursday it slumped to a loss of 22.37 million levs ($16.3 million/11.4 million euro) in the first half of 2009 on the back of a sharp drop in passenger and cargo traffic.
The company did not provide any comparative figures.
BDZ handled 5.55 million tonnes of cargo in the first half of the year, down by an annual 37.5%, the railway carrier said in a statement.
Passenger traffic fell by 7.5% on the year to 15.7 million.
The worsening financial results are mainly due to the closure of Bulgaria’s largest steel mill Kremikovtzi, which used to generate around one fourth of BDZ's cargo traffic, and to market entry of two new railway hauliers, the statement said.
BDZ posted a net loss of 9.15 million levs last year, compared to a 24.13 million lev profit in 2007, local daily Dnevnik (www.dnevnik.bg) reported in July.
(1 euro=1.95583 Bulgarian levs)