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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Wembley builder doubles profits
Work continuing on the new Wembley stadium
The 90,000 capacity Wembley was due to be completed in 2005
The developer of the troubled Wembley Stadium project has reported a doubling of its annual profits.

Australia-based Multiplex made 216.8m Australian dollars (87m; $166m) in the year to June - thanks to asset sales and growth in values of its properties.

But it lost A$364m before tax on the 90,000-seater Wembley project which it took on a fixed-price basis and has seen "cost blow-outs".

Multiplex has said the 757m London stadium will not open until June 2007.

The firm also announced that it was to hand over the building of a shopping centre in London's White City to retail developing giant Westfield.

Legal claim

Multiplex warned that fewer-than-expected projects would be finished next year - sending its shares down 2%

It is seeking to recoup some of its losses on the Wembley project in a claim against UK steel firm Cleveland Bridge - the company which built the iconic arch which towers over the stadium.

Wembley was due for completion in August 2005, but hold-ups have led to events, such as this year's FA Cup final, being rescheduled and played in Cardiff.

The relationship between Multiplex and the stadium's owners, Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL), has become increasingly acrimonious.

Multiplex has said 600 design changes have been introduced, forcing delays, but WNSL has laid the blame for the redevelopment problems firmly at the door of the Australian firm.

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