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Multiplex forecasts £45M Wembley loss

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WEMBLEY STADIUM contractor Multiplex this week predicted it would lose £45M constructing the landmark London project.

The contractor also confi med that the completion date had slipped by three months to 31 March 2006 - just six weeks ahead of the 13 May deadline to host the FA Cup final.

Last February Multiplex insisted that it would break even on the project despite the huge workload and programme pressures. It had originally anticipated a £17M profit.

But a spokesman pointed out this week that costs on the fixed price stadium contract had increased by 10% to £490M since February. He blamed rising steel prices, increased site overheads and an accelerated work programme.

The project has been dogged by disputes and technical problems since it began in 2003, including the high profile argument with steel work subcontractor Cleveland Bridge which was thrown off site last year (NCE 5 August 2004). A legal battle is pending.

In February, Multiplex's owner put up a £20M indemnity against losses on the contract, specifically from the Cleveland dispute.

However, the latest announcement takes potential losses beyond this level and assumes there will be no further claims.

The spokesman said that more supervisors, cranes and labourers would be introduced to increase productivity. He added that the firm would revise its risk management system for all future projects, particularly fixed price contracts.

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