Little Mix have cancelled their upcoming tour dates in Australia and New Zealand.

The chart-topping girl group - which features Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson - made the announcement via their official Twitter account, explaining that they need to use the time in order to make new music.

The group shared: ''We are really sad to announce that we have to cancel our upcoming Australian and New Zealand tour dates.

''We are so sorry for disappointing our fans who were coming to the shows.

''This is not a decision we've taken lightly but we have to use this time to focus on recording new music. Please contact your point of purchase for a full refund on tickets.''

The 'Black Magic' hitmakers - who were formed in 2011 during the eighth series of the 'The X Factor' in the UK - were scheduled to perform in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December.

But a source close to the band claimed their schedule was changed in light of their recording commitments, as well as their involvement with the new BBC show 'Little Mix The Search'.

The insider told MailOnline: ''Auditions begin early next year with commitments throughout Spring, leaving no time for the band to record their upcoming sixth album.

''They had to choose between touring Australia or recording a new album, and after a lot of thought they decided that it would be better to record new music, and tour Australia later.

''They are gutted to cancel the Australian dates and let down the fans there, but hope they understand that this was their only window to record new music for 2020.''