U.K. pop act Take That's new album "The Circus" (Polydor) has achieved the biggest opening day sale of the year so far, with 133,000 copies sold across the U.K. on Dec. 1 according to the Official Charts Co.

The set from the grown-up boy band, which reformed for 2006 set "Beautiful World," is set for a strong week one sale. The biggest opening week of the year was achieved in June by Coldplay's "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" (Parlophone), which shifted 302,000 copies, 125,000 of them on day one.

Universal Music U.K. says "The Circus" has comfortably beaten day one sales of "Beautiful World," which went on to be the second biggest-selling record of 2006 based on just four weeks' sales.

The sales figure will be reassuring for Universal, given the ongoing problems with entertainment wholesale distributor EUK. The Woolworths Group-owned distributor was put into administration on Nov. 27 along with the company's retail business. Although EUK is still trading, stock of new albums including Take That's "The Circus" and Britney Spears' "Circus" (Jive/Sony BMG) were not available across the U.K. on Dec. 1.

"The Circus is a coming of age record for Take That, an album which deserves to put the country's best-loved band in the history books," said Universal Music U.K. chairman David Joseph in a statement. "Today's sales figures are even more exciting considering the album wasn't available in all stores yesterday."

OCC managing director Martin Talbot added: "The success of Take That this week would be impressive enough. But, coming at a time of low consumer confidence and the particular issues of the music distribution sector, it is quite remarkable. The new album is clearly set to be one of this Christmas's biggest sellers, beyond any doubt."