Shares in Australia's biggest construction company Leighton Holdings Ltd plunged almost 10% after it cut its profit forecast amid asset write downs of $200m.

Chief executive Wal King said that by December 31, 2008, the value of listed investments had fallen by another $200m since September 30, 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis.

'The performance of the group operating companies continues to be strong, with the exception of Leighton Properties,' King said.

The Age