In addition to the usual challenges of agribusiness finance in Latin America, fiscal year 2020 brought unprecedented complications with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of the main issues were logistical restrictions and a shortage of workers. Even in this bleak scenario, not only did the Company obtain outstanding financial results for the fiscal year ended October 31st, 2020, but it also reached the major milestone of managing a US$1 billion loan portfolio.
Despite these challenges, LAAD achieved positive results in all indicators, including revenue, profitability, portfolio growth and portfolio quality. The Company disbursed US$285.7 million (11% lower than in 2019 due to our strategy of focusing only on existing clients) to 302 new loans in 14 different countries. Projects financed by LAAD in 2020 generated approximately US$1,406 million in annual revenues, and our funding assisted in the creation of 9,658 new jobs and US$232 million in additional foreign currency for the region.
Banana and coffee projects generated the highest total disbursements for the year at 12% each. Soybean and cattle followed with 10% and 9%, respectively. These four product categories represented 43% of total disbursements, while the remaining volume consisted of various other products. LAAD’s agribusiness portfolio grew by 8.9% on a year-to-year basis, reaching a record US$1,049.5 million at the end of fiscal year 2020, surpassing the one-billion-dollar mark.