British pubs group JD Wetherspoon Plc posted an 18.9 percent fall in first-half pretax profit on Friday, hit by high labor costs.

The company, like most restaurant chains in the country, has been battling high staff costs, property prices and power bills as well as a move away from pub drinking by younger Britons.

The FTSE 250, which relies heavily on alcohol sales at its restaurants, said on Friday labour costs increased by about 33 million pounds, accounting for the biggest chunk of overall costs.

It expects results for the current financial year to remain unchanged.

The company said like-for-like sales rose 9.6 percent in the six weeks to March 10, helped by good weather this year, while total sales increased 10.9 percent.

The owner and operator of more than 900 pubs in UK and Ireland said like-for-like sales rose 6.3 percent in the 26 weeks to January 27.



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