UK sensation Adele, who topped charts with 2.5m sales of her album 21, helped push the industry to a four per cent gain.
In total 221.5m albums were shifted in the period, up from 213.6m in the same period last year.
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way record was the second highest selling, with 1.5m units being shipped or downloaded.
The news will come as a relief to an industry that had seemed to be stuck in a downward spiral. Last year, a combination of collapsing CD sales and online piracy dragged global recorded music revenues down by $1.5bn (£940m), or 11 per cent.
The overall loss was worth more than the total annual revenue of the UK music industry.
Income from recorded music slumped 8.4 per cent to $15.9bn. CD sales dragged the total down with a drop of 14 per cent to $10.4bn.