Strong demand in India and improving conditions in Europe helped Vodafone , the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, to nudge its outlook higher and post third-quarter service revenues at the upper end of forecasts.

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

The improvement followed solid trading in the third quarter, when group service revenues, drawn from the provision of ongoing services and stripping out certain costs such as handsets, was up 2.5 percent at 11 billion pounds.

A Reuters poll had forecast 10.9 billion pounds.

The growth was driven by a strong performance in its Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific division, where service revenue 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.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)