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 from the country, has been battling high staff costs, property prices along with power bills as well as a move away coming 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.

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

The company said like-for-like sales rose 9.6 percent from the six weeks to March 10, helped by Great weather that will year, while total sales increased 10.9 percent.

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