Costain has confirmed that it will release more shares for sale to plug the cash shortfalls that have plagued it over the past year.

In a statement to the stock exchange ahead of its interim results announcement, due today, the contractor said it was seeking to raise £60m through a rights issue. It said preparations for this and for increased banking and bonding facilities were at an “advanced stage”.

Costain reported a pre-tax loss of £62m for the year to 31 December 2006 in its last results, following a £47m writedown.

The poor figures were blamed on project delays and disputes, as well as losses in and the closure of the international division.