The fresh five-year deal marks an extension of the group’s previous deal with Kodak, which was for three years.

It covers CTP plates and ink for St Ives’ high-speed inkjet presses.

Book wing Clays in East Anglia is the biggest single user of Kodak technology within the group, as it runs two digital book production lines using Kodak inkjet technology alongside its substantial conventional print production facilities.

The agreement also covers retail print specialist SP’s sites in Redditch and Burnley, and the St Ives Direct operation in Bradford.

St Ives group commercial director Ivor Watters said the new contract had followed a thorough review of potential alternative suppliers:

“If we find a good supplier we tend to stick with them, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t move – we benchmark commercially,” he explained.

“We’ve found Kodak to be very pro-active and very helpful, and we’ve been pleased with the consistency and quality of supply.

“They’ve also provided value-for money by helping us to strip out unnecessary costs year-on-year,” Watters added.

He said St Ives had been kept informed about Kodak’s Chapter 11 process, and was “comfortable” about the situation and the likely future shape of the supplier.

The production workflow systems at Clays and SP have also been updated with bespoke configurations to marry with each site’s precise needs, using a combination of Kodak’s Prinergy workflow, Insite Prepress Portal and Prinergy Rules-Based Automation software.

Kodak UK and Nordic sales director Darren Chard said he was delighted with the deal, and highlighted the value of the “tremendous synergy” gained through long-term customer partnerships.

“The relationship that we have today has been built over several years to become more than just a day-to-day business relationship,” he said.

” A strong sense of purpose with a focus on attaining mutual success in a dynamic and ever-changing market environment has created tremendous synergy between our two businesses.”