One Direction
One Direction were the highest selling British act globally in 2013One Direction / Twitter

Pop sensations One Direction were the highest selling British act globally in 2013.

According to British Phonographic Industry (BPI) figures, One Direction's Midnight Memories was 2013's biggest-selling album around the world, followed by US rapper Eminem's comeback album The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

British acts are still hugely popular among international audiences, accounting for a quarter of the top 40 best-selling albums around the world. UK acts have now held the top spot for six of the last seven years, with Adele topping the chart in both 2011 and 2012.

BPI spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said that the figures represent "a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world", reported the BBC.

Castaldo added: "For home-grown talent to have recorded the world's biggest-selling album six out of the last seven years is a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world."

The research also suggests that British artists are selling well at home. Home-grown artists accounted for 51.9% of sales in 2013, with the US in second at 33.8%.

"Aside from the obvious contribution to British exports, this success underlines the vital role that our music and artists play in promoting the appeal of British culture around the world", said Castaldo.

Even albums that were released a few years ago, such as Adele's 21, Emeli Sandé's Our Version of Events and Mumford & Sons' Babel, were shown to be selling impressively.