Strong demand in India and improving conditions in Europe helped Vodafone , the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, to post higher third-quarter service revenues and nudge up its profit forecast for the year.

The British-based firm said it now expected adjusted operating profit for the year to end-March to be toward the upper end of its previously stated 11.8 billion pound ($19.13 billion) to 12.2 billion pound range. The rest of the outlook was unchanged.

The improved outlook followed solid trading in the third quarter, with strong growth in India and Turkey and improvements in Britain, Germany and South Africa.

Trading stabilized in Italy but remained challenging in Spain, where Vodafone has been hurt by the economic downturn and the loss of migrant construction workers.

The United States, where Vodafone has a joint venture with partner Verizon , enjoyed strong customer demand.

The improved performance boosted group service revenue 2.5 percent to 11 billion pounds, compared with a Reuters poll forecasting 10.9 billion pounds.

Service revenue at the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific division was up 9.3 percent on an organic basis, while European service revenue was up 0.2 percent.

The group posted total revenues up 3.5 percent organically to 11.89 billion pounds.

This is the fifth successive quarter of service revenue growth improvement, with strong results from India, Turkey, the UK and Vodacom, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said.

Our performance has been driven by the effective execution of our strategy to strengthen our businesses and deliver growth, particularly in data services and emerging markets.

Data services, which enable consumers to access the Internet on their phones, were up 27 percent.

These are a pretty good set of numbers, Execution analyst Will Draper said. The service revenue from Europe is particularly good, and mobile data being up 27 percent is also very encouraging.

And then the guidance raise works out at about a 3 percent lift. The consensus had been at the bottom of the range, so this is a good lift to the outlook.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Will Waterman)

($1=.6168 Pound)