The success of Adele, One Direction and Mumford & Sons helped push UK artists to their biggest-ever share of the US albums market last year.

New figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) show the British stars accounted for a 13.7% share of album sales in 2012 across the US.

That compares with 11.7% the previous year, which at the time was the highest proportion of the century.

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Four of the five best- selling albums in the US last year were by UK acts, with one each by Adele and Mumford & Sons and two from One Direction.

Ed Sheeran, Muse and The Wanted are also among the acts that have experienced spectacular sales across the Atlantic in the past year.

Adele's second album 21 has now sold a total of 10 million copies in the US – with 4.4 million of those sold last year.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "It's officially a new British invasion.

"British labels are discovering unique talent and using social media to help build fanbases right around the world, in particular in the US, where fans have such an affinity for British music. Increasing our share of the US market for three years in a row is an encouraging sign for the future.

"It's an exciting time to be part of the British music industry – as a country we can be very proud of our artists and of the British music companies who invest in them."