Standard Chartered, the British-based emerging markets bank, said Wednesday that net profits rose 20 percent in the first half to a record US$2.52 billion (£1.55 bn) as revenues soared. Profit after tax for the six months to June compared with net profit of $2.10 billion a year earlier and beat expectations of $2.42 billion, according to a poll of analysts from Dow Jones Newswires. Revenues jumped 11 percent to $8.76 billion in the first half. \"Standard Chartered continues to deliver strong, broad-based results,\" chief executive Peter Sands said in the group\'s earnings statement. \"We have stuck to our familiar strategy, to focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, markets in which we have a long history and which we know intimately.\"