UK - High street firm WHSmith saw its pension liabilities drop by £10m following the closure of its £770m (€1.1bn) defined benefit scheme, the group has reported.

The company contributed £35m to the WHSmith Pension Trust during the year, the interim results for the year ending August 31 stated.

Of this, £25m was a one-off payment as part of the demerger agreement with Smith News Plc, which was finalised in August 2006.

The remainder is part of a £50m cash injection agreed with the pension fund trustees paid in instalments over five years.

The scheme had been closed to new members since 1996 and was closed to future benefit accrual on April 2.

As of August 31, the gross IAS 19 pension deficit was nil compared to £152m four years before.

The actuarial deficit which is based on different assumptions and calculations was £46m down from £116m in 2006 as calculated by Mercer.

The group also noted the LDI strategy put in place in September 2005 "is performing well".

In addition to the defined benefit scheme, WH Smith runs a £28m defined contribution scheme known as the WHSmith Retirement Savings Plan.