Darling International Inc. Announces Results for Fiscal Year and Fourth Quarter 2003
PRNewswire-FirstCall
IRVING, Texas

Darling International Inc. reported $18.2 million net income for Fiscal 2003. This represents a $9.2 million increase in net income as compared to 2002. Sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 3, 2004, as compared to the same period of the prior year are as follows:

FISCAL YEAR

For Fiscal 2003, the Company's net sales grew 23.7% to $324.4 million as compared to $262.2 million for Fiscal 2002. Increases in finished product prices and increased purchases of finished products for resale accounted for the majority of the $62.2 million net sales increase.

For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2004, the Company reported net income of $18.2 million as compared to a net income of $9.0 million for the 2002 comparable period. The $9.2 million increase in net income for Fiscal 2003, resulted from increases in net sales and other income, which included approximately $3.9 million attributable to early retirement of debt, and a reduction in depreciation and amortization and interest expense, which more than offset increases in cost of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses and income taxes.

The Company's Chief Executive Officer, Randall Stuewe, commented, "While 2003 was a challenging year in our industry, the Company's results exceeded 2002 and we demonstrated another good year of solid growth and improved profitability."

For the fourth quarter 2003, the Company's net sales were $96.5 million as compared to $70.4 million for the fourth quarter 2002. Increases in finished product prices accounted for the majority of the $26.1 million increase.

Net income for the fourth quarter 2003 improved to $8.9 million as compared to a net income of $3.7 million for the 2002 comparable period. The $5.2 million increase in net income for the fourth quarter, resulted from increases in net sales and other income which more than offset increases in cost of sales and income taxes. Other income increased $3.3 million attributable to early retirement of debt.

Darling International Inc. is the largest publicly traded, food and animal by-products recycling company in the United States. The Company collects and recycles used restaurant cooking oil and by-products from the beef, pork and poultry processing industries into useable products such as tallow, feed-grade fats and meat and bone meal. These products are primarily sold to animal feed and oleo-chemical manufacturers around the world. In addition, the Company provides grease trap collection services and sells equipment to restaurants.

The Company's shares are traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol DAR. In AMEX trading on March 26, 2004, Darling stock closed at $2.86 per share.

{This media release contains forward-looking statements regarding the business operations of Darling. These statements are identified by words such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "intend," "anticipate," "should", "estimate," continue," and other words referring to events to occur in the future. These statements reflect Darling's current view of future events and are based on its assessment of, and are subject to, a variety of risks and uncertainties, including business and economic conditions in its existing markets. Other risks and uncertainties regarding Darling, its business and the industry in which it operates are referenced from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Darling is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.}

                        Darling International Inc.
                      Consolidated Operating Results
       For the Periods Ended January 3, 2004 and December 28, 2002
             (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
                               (Unaudited)

                                             Three Months Ended
                                                               $ Change
                                    Jan. 3,       Dec. 28,     Favorable
                                      2004          2002     (Unfavorable)

  Net sales                         $96,519       $70,399      $26,120
  Costs and expenses:
    Cost of sales and operating
     expenses                        72,139        51,883      (20,256)
    Selling, general and
     administrative expenses         10,002         7,518       (2,484)
    Depreciation and amortization     4,175         4,155          (20)
      Total costs and expenses       86,316        63,556      (22,760)
      Operating income               10,203         6,843        3,360
  Other income (expense):
    Interest expense                   (738)         (438)        (300)
    Other, net                        3,948           740        3,208
      Total other income (expense)    3,210           302        2,908
  Income from continuing operations
   before income taxes               13,413         7,145        6,268
  Income taxes                       (4,549)       (3,450)      (1,099)
    Income from continuing
     operations                       8,864         3,695        5,169
    Income (loss) from discontinued
     operation, net of tax                0           (17)          17
  Net income                          8,864         3,678        5,186
  Preferred dividends and
   accretion (A)                          0          (364)         364
    Net income applicable to common
     shareholders                    $8,864        $3,314       $5,550
  Basic and diluted income (loss)
   per share:
    Continuing operations             $0.15         $0.05        $0.10
    Discontinued operations             ---           ---          ---
      Total                           $0.15         $0.05        $0.10


                                             Twelve Months Ended
                                                               $ Change
                                    Jan. 3,       Dec. 28,     Favorable
                                      2004          2002     (Unfavorable)

  Net sales                        $324,429      $262,236      $62,193
  Costs and expenses:
    Cost of sales and operating
     expenses                       246,061       194,559      (51,502)
    Selling, general and
     administrative expenses         35,971        30,294       (5,677)
    Depreciation and amortization    15,133        16,426        1,293
      Total costs and expenses      297,165       241,279      (55,886)
      Operating income               27,264        20,957        6,307
  Other income (expense):
    Interest expense                 (2,365)       (6,409)       4,044
    Other, net                        3,938         2,001        1,937
      Total other income (expense)    1,573        (4,408)       5,981
  Income from continuing operations
   before income taxes               28,837        16,549       12,288
  Income taxes                      (10,646)       (7,183)      (3,463)
    Income from continuing
     operations                      18,191         9,366        8,825
    Income (loss) from discontinued
     operation, net of tax                0          (403)         403
  Net income                         18,191         8,963        9,228
  Preferred dividends and
   accretion (A)                       (101)         (994)         893
    Net income applicable to common
     shareholders                   $18,090        $7,969       10,121
  Basic and diluted income (loss)
   per share:
    Continuing operations             $0.29         $0.19        $0.10
    Discontinued operations             ---         (0.01)        0.01
      Total                           $0.29         $0.18        $0.11

  (A)  Preferred dividends accrued were $ 0 and $(310,000) during the three
       and twelve months ended January 3, 2004,  respectively.  Accretion
       of the preferred stock discount were $ 0 and $209,000 during the
       three and twelve months ended January 3, 2004, respectively.

   FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
   John O. Muse, Executive Vice President of
   Finance and Administration, or
   Brad Phillips, Treasurer
   Phone:  972-717-0300

SOURCE: Darling International Inc.

CONTACT: John O. Muse, Executive Vice President of Finance and
Administration, or Brad Phillips, Treasurer, both of Darling International
Inc., +1-972-717-0300