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2 January 2013, 15:51
Single sales in 2012 enjoyed a fifth successive rise, thanks mainly to digital downloads.
Albums by Emeli Sande, Adele and One Direction were among the biggest selling in 2012.
But that was not enough to stop overall album sales falling by 11.2% last year, with sales of CD albums continuing to plummet, dropping 20% compared to 2011.
However, digital album sales rose by 14.8% to 30.5 million, according to new figures released by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Four of the top five biggest-selling albums of 2012 were by British acts, with Emeli Sande's 'Our Version Of Events' the most successful.
The Scottish singer sold 1.4 million copies of her debut album thanks to several high profile appearances during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Adele's '21' and Ed Sheeran's '+' were second and third respectively, despite being released in 2011.
Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die' was the fourth biggest-selling, while another 2011 album, One Direction's 'Up All Night', was fifth.
While album sales fell, single sales saw their fifth successive record year, rising 6%. A massive 99.6% of single sales are now digital downloads.