Ashley Almanza
Ashley Almanza is chief executive of scandal-hit G4S Reuters

G4S boss Ashley Almazna pocketed a £648,000 bonus from the scandal-hit firm for 2013, despite his admission that it had been an "extremely challenging year".

That comes on top of his £1.194m (€1.45m, $1.2m) annual fixed pay, which includes benefits and pension contributions. His basic salary alone is £890,000.

This is in spite of weaker financial results, an ongoing criminal investigation into the business by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over its electronic tagging contract with the Ministry of Justice, and a number of damaging scandals across the world.

Almanza took over as chief executive in June 2013, just a month after being appointed chief financial officer.

His predecessor, Nick Buckles, stepped down amid criticism over G4S's failure to meet its contract to provide security for the London 2012 Olympic Games in a high profile corporate blunder.

In December 2013, G4S agreed to repay the UK government £108.9m for overcharging taxpayers on its tagging contract. It had billed the MoJ for the tagging of some criminals who were dead or in prison.

The firm is also under pressure over its contract with the Australian government to run the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea. An Iranian man was killed at the camp and riots have broken out. An independent investigation is underway.

Towards the end of 2013 allegations surfaced of abuse and torture by staff at South Africa's tough Mangaung prison, run by G4S. The company denies the claims.

Three of the company's former staff are also facing a manslaughter trial over the death of a 46-year-old Angolan man being deported from the UK in 2010. Jimmy Mubenga was restrained by the three security staff who were escorting him back to Angola before he died on the plane.

The company's profits were also down in 2013. Profit before tax and other exceptional items for the year was £442m, a 6% decline. Including special items, such as the UK tagging contract charge, it had fallen 84.6% over the year from £364m to £56m.

G4S said in its annual report that Almanza had met his financial and non-financial targets and so was entitled to the significant bonus.

"He assumed the role of CEO in a time of great uncertainty," said the report.

"The board asked him to focus on identifying root causes of issues that had led to our profi t warning in May and to prioritise the correction of those issues in a sustainable manner.

"We asked him to stay equally balanced on delivering quality underlying operating results that would set the foundation for sustainable growth going forward ... the committee concluded that the underlying PBITA of £442 million, as presented in the results, was 'at target' for the financial portion of his bonus.

"For the portion of his bonus based on non-financial objectives, the committee, and indeed the whole board, was highly satisfied with the rate and pace of progress and the committee therefore awarded him the maximum quantum."