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fast slapcat and slow slapadd

Using openldap 2.3.38 on 2.6.24 with bdb/hdb backend.

I got about 12-13 000 entries in my directory.
Slapcat takes seconds, while slapadd takes 15 minutes or more.
Is there any way to speed it up, which I've missed?

to slapadd I do:

/etc/init.d/slapd stop && 

cd /var/lib/ldap && ls |grep -v DB_CONFIG|xargs rm &&

cat slapcat-output-file|slapadd

currently the best way to minimize downtime I found
is to replace "directory" line in slapd.conf, then
do slapadd "into" new physical location, and then
just stop slapd, change dirname, change directory line back,
and start again.
I'm afraid it's actually not slapd issue, but just
some file-reading/adding -related thing.

Is it some better workaround for this with newer release?
I'd be happy to jump to 2.4.7 series, but it still seems
a little bit unstable, segfaults sometimes with some