Darling International Inc., a provider of rendering and bakery residuals recycling services to the food industry, reported net income of $32.4 million, or $0.27 per share, for the first quarter ended March 30. 

For the first quarter of 2013, the company reported net sales of $445.4 million, as compared to $387.1 million for the first quarter of 2012. The $58.3 million increase in sales is primarily attributable to higher finished product selling prices for proteins and bakery finished products. Higher raw material volumes in both the Rendering and Bakery segments contributed to the increase and helped to offset the decrease in fat prices year over year.

Net income for the first quarter of 2013 increased to $32.4 million, or $0.27 per share, as compared to $28.6 million, or $0.24 per share, for the 2012 comparable period.  The $3.8 million increase in net income for the first quarter resulted predominantly from higher finished product prices followed by higher raw material volumes in both Rendering and Bakery segments. Comparing fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 results with first quarter of fiscal 2013, finished fat prices improved and raw material volumes remained steady.

Darling International Chairman and CEO Randall Stuewe said: "We are off to a good start in 2013 driven by improving fat values along with strong protein demand especially from our value added poultry ingredients.    Rendering raw material volumes remained steady relative to fourth quarter of 2012 with a much anticipated slowdown in the beef sector being offset by improved volumes in poultry, pork and used cooking oil. The Bakery Segment delivered solid results in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to first quarter 2012 with higher volumes and resilient finished product prices."