Profits fall, but developer says work remains on track for new stadium.

Multiplex has cut its 2006 profit expectations after a set of disappointing results for the year to June 2005, but insists that the troubled Wembley stadium project will be delivered on time next spring. The Australian property developer reduced its 2006 forecast by 8.5 per cent after seeing profits for the 12 months reach just AUS$ 148 m (£62 m).

But while problems continue to dog the north London development, other sectors of the business are performing well, and Australian analysts remain confident in longer-term future of the company.

Chief excecutive Andrew Roberts, whose father John founded the company, but resigned as chairman earlier this year when the Wembley project faltered, said the results were very disappointing.

"We had never had an experience where we've seen a cost movement like we've seen in relation to this project, and we've been in the business for 40 years," he said.

The FA cup final is due to be held in the new stadium next May, but the English Football Association has already booked the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as a back-up venue in case work is not completed on time. A penalty clause in Multiplex’s contract could see the company fined up to a £1 m a week if it over-runs the January deadline.