A SPECIALIST plastics firm has cut jobs after a major customer dropped its orders.

Sone Products, based in Stanley, County Durham, says 20 workers have been made redundant.

Bosses previously identified 46 posts as being at risk after its order book was hit by a major client's decision to lower business to less than half normal levels.

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The company, which employs more than 100 workers, supplies containers for the beauty industry and last year invested £700,000 in new equipment to increase production of its mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss packaging.

A statement said: “After a consultation, the firm has found it has been able to save a number of jobs by making fewer redundancies than first anticipated.

“This follows a sudden and unexpected downturn in orders from a key client.

“Instead of 46 jobs being made redundant, the figure was reduced after negotiation and only 20 compulsory redundancies had to be made.

“The company's management team, headed by chairman and chief executive, Raymond Oliver, remains focused on winning new work and operating a strong and sustainable business.”

Last year, Sone secured a £200,000 annual contract with dental product supplier Curaden International AG to make millions of toothpicks for Scandinavia.

It also picked up work to make 50,000 containers that will be used to apply security-marking on goods for SmartWater Technology.