Darling has best quarter in company history as both renewable diesel projects remain on track
Darling reported the best quarter in company history with net sales of $1.05 billion for the first quarter of this year, compared to net sales of $852.8 million for the same period last year. Net income for the three months ending April 3 was $151.8 million compared to net income of $85.5 million for the first quarter of 2020. Combined adjusted EBITDA was $284.8 million. Darling’s global ingredients business first-quarter EBITDA was $176.6 million. Diamond Green Diesel, Darling’s 50/50 joint venture renewable diesel plant with Valero, earned a record $2.77 EBITDA per gallon, contributing $108.2 million of EBITDA to Darling’s fuel segment.
"Our worldwide team delivered the best quarter in our company's history as our global ingredients business generated $176.6 million of EBITDA in the first quarter," said Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and CEO. “Adding the strong Q1 performance of DGD, our 2021 is off to a great start with $284.8 million of combined adjusted EBITDA.”
Stuewe said both renewable diesel projects—the massive expansion in Norco, Louisiana, and the 470 million gallon per year (mgy) plant under construction in Port Arthur, Texas—remain on track. The expanded Louisiana plant, which will be capable of producing 675 mgy, is set to begin production later this year in the middle of the fourth quarter, while the Port Arthur project is slated for completion in the second half of 2023.
“With the startup of the Norco expansion, we believe that DGD will be able to sell approximately 365 million gallons of renewable diesel this year,” Stuewe said. “As a result of the solid performance of our global ingredients business to start the year and an improved outlook for DGD, we are increasing our combined adjusted EBITDA guidance to a range of $1.075 billion to $1.150 billion for 2021. This new guidance range is 28 to 35 percent better than our 2020 performance and sets up our global business for continued growth and improved profitability into the future.”