Philip Bowman, chief executive of Allied Domecq, earned over £2m ($3.35m) last year - a 25% increase year-on-year. The figures were published in the 2003 annual report and accounts, released to shareholders yesterday.

Bowman, who joined the company in 1998, saw his basic salary rise to £665,000 from £610,000 in the year to August 31 2002. His performance-related bonus leapt to £1.04m from £738,000.

A spokesman for the company explained to the Guardian that Allied had operated an "extended closed period" while the company was involved in wrangling over former Seagram brands with rivals Diageo and Pernod Ricard. "Because Chris Hogg (the former Allied chairman) decided the company was in closed period, no share incentives could be awarded," the spokesman said. Those losses have now been covered with a cash payment designed to make up for the gains Mr Bowman would have received if he had been awarded incentive shares.

The chief of the wines division David Scotland received a bonus of £507,000, taking his total pay to £1m. Finance director Graham Hetherington's total pay was £928,000.

Allied's profits rose 3% to £495m, but were hit by currency fluctuations and extra pension costs.