The award was made in a year when profits from Hillsdown's Canadian operations fell 22 per cent from pounds 70.4m to pounds 54.6m. A spokesman for Hillsdown said that Mr Newton's bonus was decided by Sir John Nott, the former defence secretary who takes over as company chairman later this month, and Anthony Brice, a non-executive director. Mr Newton's base salary rose 11 per cent to pounds 262,000.
The company said the pounds 490,000 reflected a rise in profits in Canada from pounds 17.5m in 1987.
Mr Newton, who recently netted pounds 264,000 from share options, is reported to have complained, when first sent to Canada, that he was earning a great deal less than his Canadian peers.
The total salary bill for directors rose from pounds 2.1m to pounds 3.3m in a year in which pre-tax profits slipped 18 per cent to pounds 154.1m.Reuse content