Despite Wembley Multiplex says construction division will soon return to normal levels of profit

The Multiplex Board has apologised to shareholders for the disastrous losses at Wembley.

Losses on the project contributed to a net loss before interest and tax of £130m in the group’s construction division. Across all divisions the group reported a profit after tax of £88m for the year to 30 June 2006.

The contractor said the outlook was positive in its construction business and profitability would return to ‘normal levels’ in the short to medium term.

Multiplex chairman Allan McDonald announced that the company’s financiers had approved a settlement with WNSL, believed to involve a £36m payment to the contractor, but said that this would not alter the £91m post-tax loss on Wembley adopted in the June 2006 accounts.

Ominously, McDonald reiterated that the company’s financial position in relation to Wembley “remains dependent on the resolution of subcontractor claims and other third party recoveries.”

Chief executive Andrew Roberts said that he expected initial events in preparation for next year’s FA Cup final to “take place by February,” adding that “The FA Cup is a matter for the FA but our expectations are that the stadium will be operating ahead of that.”

He said: "All parties are now firmly committed to working together to ensure the stadium opens for business as early as possible in 2007."