The trend of new British acts breaking sales records at home is continuing. Debut artists topped the official Top 100 album sales charts for 13 weeks in the first half of 2006, trade body the BPI repo

The trend of new British acts breaking sales records at home is continuing. Debut artists topped the official Top 100 album sales charts for 13 weeks in the first half of 2006, trade body the BPI reported today (Aug. 16).

These achievements make "2006 the best year for new British music for at least 10 years," according to the BPI. "The new acts are selling more albums, more quickly, than ever before."

U.K. debut acts represented more than 17% of album sales during that six-month period. That amounted to 3.4 million units of albums sold, based on over-the-counter sales data supplied by the Official U.K. Charts Company.

Newcomer James Morrison and his album "Undiscovered" (Polydor), became the eighth new act to enter the Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1, following its Aug. 12 release.

Morrison follows in the footsteps of other debutant chart-toppers such as Arctic Monkeys (Domino), Sandi Thom (RCA) and Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI).

During the first six months of 2006, debut British acts accounted for nine of the top 100-selling albums.

By comparison, 2005 featured six new acts in the Top 100 chart in the first six months; only two acts were present in the Top 100 five years ago, compared with only three 10 years ago.