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Inkfish Services snaps up next generation Oce technology

Press release from the issuing company

Poing, Germany, 25 March 2004— Inkfish Services Limited, part of the Domestic & General Group PLC, has signed a contract to become the first UK customer of Oce's revolutionary new generation of high-speed web fed printers—the VarioStream 9000 series—that will, through specific applications demanded by the market, increase capacity and save costs. Harald Würges, Océ's Business Group Manager for Commercial Printing in Poing, near Munich, Germany, and Derek Hollingdale, Managing Director of Inkfish Services, officially signed the ground-breaking deal at Océ OpenHouse, Europe's largest annual digital printing exhibition. The new digital press is due to be installed at the end of May and will be used for transactional applications. Inkfish Services Limited has outgrown its print and mail facility in the Midlands, and the investment is part of the company's wider expansion plans that incorporate the construction of a new 56,000sq ft mailing house in Coventry in the spring. Inkfish Services, which plans to significantly increase its 70-strong workforce in the next three years, is currently running at 65million packs annually. The new site will take capacity immediately to 150 million mailing packs. Inkfish Services Limited has purchased an Océ VarioStream 9210, which is part of Océ's new technology platform that represents the next generation in digital printing with a unique migration path from black & white to colour printing. It offers a unique freedom of choice for print media, data resolutions and the use of colour unrivalled in the digital press arena. The core of the new technology is an 800 image per minute duplex in one pass platform that is prepared for integrating up to four colour stations in addition to black. Based on an intelligent migration concept, the VarioStream 9000 is ready for the requirements of today and at the same time open to cover future needs. This means users can take full advantage of Océ's proven competitive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for conventional black and white printing today, being open to the whole world of applications in the future when the need arises while maintaining full-blown black and white functionality. The VarioStream 9000 series represents a revolution in digital press technology—not an evolution. In addition, the high performance printer can be teamed with a variety of pre and post-processing equipment. The Océ VarioStream 9000 technology is ideal for applications as diverse as books, newspapers and loose-leaf sets, yet also handles with ease transactional-type documents such as forms, invoices, account statements, direct mail and in-pack leaflets for pharmaceuticals. Inkfish Services Limited, which has been an Océ customer for five years, is responsible for printing breakdown plan documentation for customers who include major manufacturers, banks, building societies and retailers. Mr Hollingdale said: "We pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art direct marketing facilities at competitive prices. The fact that we will be able to upgrade to full colour at an affordable price later in the year—as well as Océ's proven track record and quality of service—were key factors in our decision to make this significant investment." Bron Curley, UK Business Director for Océ Digital Document Systems, said: "As a long-term business partner of Inkfish Services, we are delighted to be playing a key part in its expansion plans. Our approach is centred on developing and nurturing a long-term relationship that sees Océ's success as a reflection of the success of its clients."