Meruelo Maddux Properties reported Tuesday after market closed that its second quarter net loss had increased nearly 80 percent due to higher expenses and the real estate slump.

The Los Angeles-based developer and landlord of commercial and multi-family residential properties reported a loss of $6.4 million (-7 cents per share) for the quarter ended June 30, compared to a net loss of $3.6 million (-4 cents) a year ago. Revenue increased less than a percent to $6.33 million, primarily due to higher rental income from projects acquired in 2007.

Total expenses grew 36 percent, including an impairment charge of $3.9 million related to a project at 3000 E. Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles. The company said it is working to reduce its mortgage debt, and now has three land loans with a total principal of $47.6 million. The figure represents a 29 percent decline from the first quarter.

Meruelo shares closed unchanged at $1.99 Tuesday on the Nasdaq prior to
the report. Shares were off 15 percent on Monday.

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