Deutsche Telekom forecast its core profit growth would halve this year, despite booming business in the US and the first rise in earnings in years in its German home market in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to rise by just under 4% to around €22.2 billion in 2017.

This is below the average estimate of €22.7 billion in a Reuters poll and compared with an 8% increase in 2016. 

Deutsche Telekom said in a statement the 2017 outlook was consistent with its 2014-18 forecast for average adjusted EBITDA growth of 2-4%. It did not elaborate.

Deutsche Telekom is making the most of its large fixed and mobile networks as well as TV content deals to sell bundled packages that are more expensive than single services and tend to keep customers more loyal. 

Adjusted EBITDA in Germany rose 3% in the fourth quarter and 0.1% over the year to €8.8 billion. 

Group EBITDA growth was driven once again by T-Mobile US. 

Deutsche Telekom also said its sales should rise by an unspecified amount this year and free cash flow should increase by 12%, with a corresponding dividend hike. 

Last year's free cash flow rose 9 percent, allowing Deutsche Telekom to raise its dividend by the same percentage to €0.60 per share. 

Deutsche Telekom was pushed to a net loss of €2.12 billion in the fourth quarter by a €2.2 billion writedown of its 12% stake in Britain's BT, whose shares were hit by the UK's vote to leave the European Union last year. 

The company's chief executive Tom Hoettges said in November there was no internal discussion about selling the stake, which it took in exchange for its share in UK mobile operator EE last year and now values at €5.1 billion on its books.