Ryanair expects full-year yields to fall at least 20%

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair is expecting a full-year drop in yields of at least 20%, and a net profit for 2009-10 towards the lower end of a €200-300 million ($285-427 million) range.

Ryanair is adopting a cautious outlook for the rest of the year. The airline says that while traffic growth is "strong", the economic recession is generating "much weaker" yields.

Ryanair says it intends to take advantage of reduced fuel costs and lower expenditure elsewhere to cut its fares.

"As a result we expect second-quarter yields will be significantly lower than last year," it adds, estimating them to be "at, or even slightly above" the decline of 15-20% previously given as guidance.

"We have limited visibility beyond the next two months but expect passengers to be very price-sensitive for the rest of the year."

The carrier, which today posted a net first-quarter profit, has opted to extend its fuel hedging to 90% at $620 per tonne for the first three quarters of fiscal 2010, and 60% at $610 for the final quarter.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary says that, should the carrier hedge the balance of its fiscal year 2010 fuel at $620 per tonne, it would "lock in" a full-year fuel saving of €460 million.