Troubled contractor loses £80m more since the summer as chief executive says restoration of financial health will take longer than expected.

Shares in Jarvis fell by a half after the contractor warned that it has lost £80m more in cash since the summer and said its disposal programme had been slower than expected.

The firm said that the cost of completing construction projects had "risen substantially" and cash outflow had increased by £80m.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange the firm said it was it talks to bring in new partners to complete outstanding construction work. The statement said: "The group continues to incur losses during the current financial year. It also means that the group now anticipates that a substantial proportion of the proceed from its dispoal

Chief executive Alan Lovell, who was brought in to the firm last month, said: "Having completed an urgent review of of the Group's operational and financial status in the three weeks since my appointment as chief executive, it is clear that the restoration of the Group to financial health will take longer than previously indicated."

"The disposals programme and new and existing cost-reduction initiatives are priorities, together with a resolution of outstanding operational issues, in particular the remaining PFI/UPP construction contracts."

The firm confirmed in a further statement that its schools PFI deal with Norfolk council, which it was hoping to sell to Vinci, had collapsed.