SHARES in the Australian group building the Wembley football stadium plunged to a record low yesterday after it warned it would make a £45m loss on the project.

Construction firm Multiplex has previously blamed the change in steel contractor - which was originally Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge - for some of its losses.

The two companies are in dispute after Cleveland Bridge left the project last year.

Each firm claims the other owes it money - but Cleveland Bridge has said it is confident of winning its court case against Multiplex at the beginning of next year.

Multiplex yesterday saw its stock hit a low of 2.27 Australian dollars (94p), before closing slightly higher at 2.56 Australian dollars (107p) - wiping about a fifth off its market value.

In an announcement made in Sydney late on Monday, the group revealed the project would be completed three months later than expected in March, but insisted it would still be ready in time for next May's FA Cup Final.

Multiplex had been forced to suspend its shares on Friday, following its revelation that the loss could be more than double the £21m the Roberts family, who founded the firm and hold a 26 per cent stake in it, had agreed to cover. It spent the weekend reviewing the contract before coming up with its estimated loss of about £45m.

Multiplex warned in February that it expected only to break even on the job after the change in steel contractor led to higher costs and litigation.

Revealing yesterday that it had been forced to make £25m write-down on Wembley, the group said there were still several major risks to the project.

These included its ability to recover claims against third parties, costs associated with completing the steel work and the weather.

Multiplex is involved in a number of projects in the UK, including a site in Stratford, east London, which could become the home of the 2012 Olympic village if the London bid is successful.

Earlier this month, it made profits of £10m after selling its 12.5 per cent stake in the White City shopping centre development in London.

The company's portfolio also includes Sydney's Telstra Stadium and Federation Square in Melbourne