* Macquarie half-year net profit A$1.25 bln
* Projects record full-year earnings
* Announces A$1 billion share buyback
* Appoints former central bank chief to board
* Shares hit record intraday high (Recasts, adds shares, fund manager quote)
Oct 27 (Reuters) - Australia's biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd posted record first-half profits on Friday, an upgrade to its full-year earnings forecast and plans to buyback up to A$1 billion ($766 million) in the firm's shares.
The bank said strong performance fees helped lift net profit 19 percent to A$1.25 billion ($957.75 million) in the six months to Sept. 30, well above the average A$1.14 billion forecast of analysts according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
After the results, Macquarie shares rose as much as 4 percent to a record intraday high of A$98.28, in an otherwise largely flat broader market.
The company dubbed the "millionaire's factory" due to the salaries of its most successful executives, also said it was appointing Glenn Stevens, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia until last year, to its board.
"The capital markets business was much weaker than expected, on low overall volatility, but what was really nice was the strength of the annuity style income, which offset that," Atlas Funds Management Chief Investment Officer Hugh Dive said.
Performance fees more than tripled to A$537 million, while the profit contribution from its Commodities and Global Markets segment fell 23 percent, Macquarie said in a statement.
The company said it expects full-year earnings to exceed last year's record profit of A$2.2 billion and its promised an interim dividend of A$2.05 per share, up about 8 percent from the prior year.
"The group remains well positioned, with a strong and diverse global platform and deep expertise across a range of products and asset classes," Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Moore said.
Macquarie, which this year broke into the top three banks globally for commodities, is trimming back its aggressive lending against metals, Reuters reported earlier this month, citing three sources familiar with the matter. ($1=1.30 Australian dollars) (Additional reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Neil Fullick)