Boosted by solid demand, EMC (EMC) grew its profits by a stronger-than-expected 28% in the second quarter, prompting the storage giant to hike its full-year guidance.

Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC said it earned a record a $546.5 million, or 24 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $426.2 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 35 cents a share, topping the Streets view by a penny.

Revenue jumped 20% to $4.85 billion, compared with consensus calls for $4.73 billion. Operating margins expanded to 15.4% from 14.6%.

Our record-setting performance during the quarter was marked by balanced growth, solid execution and significant technology innovation as customers around the world continue to embrace EMCs cloud computing and Big Data strategies, CEO Joe Tucci said in a statement.

Looking ahead, EMC said it now sees full-year revenue topping $19.8 billion, translating to non-GAAP EPS of more than $1.48. Wall Street had been anticipating EPS of $1.49 on sales of $19.85 billion. EMC said its free cash flow is expected to hit $4 billion in 2011.

EMC said its information storage business enjoyed a 19% jump in second-quarter revenue. VMware (VMW), which is majority-owned by EMC, grew its revenue by 37%.

U.S. sales rose 17% at EMC, making up 52% of the companys total revenue. International sales hit an all-time record of $2.3 billion, up 25% year-over-year.

Shares of EMC gained 2.81% to $28.15 Wednesday morning, leaving them up nearly 20% on the year.

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