Dutch staffing giant Randstad on Tuesday reported underlying earnings slipping 4% in the second-quarter, slightly missing analyst forecasts due to a slowdown in Europe.
Earnings before interest, taxation and amortization (EBITA) fell to 277 million euros ($309.91 million) in the three months through June, with organic growth falling 1.7%.
Analysts polled by Randstad had projected EBITA of 281 million euros, below the restated 288 million euros over the same period last year.
Randstad CEO Jacques van den Broek told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Tuesday that the figures were directly linked to a slowdown in the automotive sector across major markets such as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
"You see the -1.7% in our global growth and 1% can be directly related to automotive and first and second tier suppliers," he said.
"There is definitely something going on which we don't think is a structural thing regarding the automotive industry, but the trade wars, China, and lastly the unclarity about the future of diesel engines really eat into this industry."
However, van den Broek said the group sees opportunities in Japan due to "labor market issues" such as "low participation of women" and a small foreign workforce, which is likely to fuel growth going forward, along with South America and the rest of the world.
Randstad shares slipped 1.8% after the opening bell on Tuesday as investors digested the figures.